I just deleted what would have been an overly-sentimental post about my youngest child starting high school.
All over Howard County today there will be many momentous firsts. In some cases the children will have the first day of school jitters. In other cases, it will be the parents. And don't forget teachers, staff, and administrators--it's their first day, too.
At Glenwood Middle School parents must make a choice as to whether they trust verbal assurances that their children are safe from an ongoing mold problem. The factual information they requested has not been provided to them.
In many schools there are new administrators. There was a rather large shake-up and resorting this year.
My friends from the Ducketts Lane RECC have been dispersed and redistributed throughout the system.
Many of our best teachers took the buyout and retired in the Spring. The effect of their absence will soon be felt.
Along with that are the young, first-year teachers who will bring their energy and hope into the system. May their confidence be well-placed.
Today many photographs will be taken. There will be photo opps with school system dignitaries and local politicians. Fine words will be spoken. I suppose that some of that will make it into the Howard County Times. It's a big day in our community.
To me the most important words will not be spoken in public for an audience. They will be the soft "I love you" from a parent to a kindergarten child, a cheery greeting from a paraeducator, a reassurance from a classroom teacher that the classroom will be a safe place and the children's needs will be respected.
No photo opps will be more important than the picture each parent carries in his or her heart today. Very often it is the picture of this day and all the other days that led up to it. We mark growth and change on these first days of school. We realize that it means that our time with our children will not be forever. We acknowledge that entrusting them to the care of others is a risk we must take.
Well, I'm so glad I didn't write that sentimental post I had in mind.
Happy first day of school.