This past Monday as I was leaving for work, I saw my neighbor outside taking pictures of his children all dressed up and excited about the prospect of the first day of school. So, as I drove off, I was thinking of the famous line from Shakespeare’s “As You Like It:”
“Then the whining schoolboy with his satchel
And shining morning face, creeping like snail
Unwillingly to school.”
Well that schoolboy was certainly not as excited by the prospect of school as were my neighbor’s children. But certainly too, school is a bit more fun than it was in the sixteenth century. I mean, the prospect of contracting bubonic plague from your playmates is in and of itself a deterrent to fun.
Yes, these days, children do feel excited by the prospect of school beginning anew, or for kindergartners about the great first right of passage towards adulthood. Yet one does have to ask, who is more excited child or parents? All of the Facebook posting of photos that I have seen usually bear a less than subtle message of relief from mom and dad.
I have to say however, that all of this angst, ambiguity, and wonder was captured this past week ever so marvelously by Reddit poster Boobafett13, who posted photos of her daughter ready for the first day of kindergarten. The little girl, we are told, is quite a fashion plate and had carefully chosen and coordinated ever element of her dress. Then there is a second picture of her daughter all disheveled getting off the school bus. Of course, as Boobafett13 points out, her daughter actually had a wonderful first day of school. We should have known, of course, since the disheveled look certainly betrays a day of fun. We all carry it forward in our belief that September really is the beginning of the year, or at least the beginning of something good.