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Gearing up for school

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Let's face it. New Year's Eve is not the start of a new year. The year begins the day after Labor Day. This is a certain truth if you have children at home. For we adults, summer means a two-week vacation at the shore or the lake, some gin-and-tonic fortified barbecues and, in general, a slightly relaxed routine. The end of summer is...well... just the end of summer. Not so for children.

For kids, the end of summer is an annual train wreck. It is more than the loss of freedom and no more staying up late and sleeping-in. It is more than the passing of beach-time and the blockbusters at the movieplex. It means the slump-shouldered march off to the educational salt mines and all the uncertainties that holds.

Someone once said that one of the greatest gifts God gives us is our ability to forget. Specifically, to forget all the setbacks, hurts, failures, rejections and smashed dreams we have accumulated in childhood. The scars may still be there, but like seasoned warriors, we can't remember where and by whom they were inflicted. For children, the classroom, lunchroom, playground and school bus are hothouses for all these wounds and their memories are fresh!

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