September is start of happy, new year

School year, not January, means fresh start

August 12, 2010|Susan Reimer

For the parents of children, September, not January, will be always be the start of the new year. And that will be true long after the last child has left the classroom.

September is the month of a new teacher and a new grade, new shoes and new school supplies. A fresh start for mother and child, who might have ended the previous school year at wit's end with each other.

All January is good for is taking down holiday decorations and looking for your tax stuff. Who wouldn't want the clean slate September gives, year after year?

It is a fresh start, and even the air is fresher, because September brings with it the promise of cooler mornings and the occasional rainy day.

The nights come a little quicker, but they are alive with crickets and cicadas. January can offer only gray and cold and days so short you have to wonder why you got out of bed at all.

September always meant morning coffee on Betsy's porch, where we could watch the children, believing they were on their own, make their way to the neighborhood elementary school.

We mothers would linger on the porch a while, postponing the day of chores without children — another of the luxuries of September and the start of a new school year. There is nothing quite like the grocery store all by yourself.

They call it spring cleaning, but that is another event that actually happens in September. After a summer of kid junk scattered everywhere, the urge to lighten the burden of worldly possessions is almost overwhelming in September — another element of the fresh start that only that month offers.

And September has its own set of New Year's resolutions: Homework will be done right after school. Dinners will be healthful and eaten together. Books will be read before bed. TV, video games and computer time will be limited to weekends. Cell phones will be collected and held by Mom until homework and chores are done. Backpacks and sports equipment will be packed the night before — not during the hectic morning.

But, like the ones we make in January, these resolutions melt away, too.

School is out for my kids — I am not sure anyone has cracked a book since — but September holds the same emotional memories, the same promise, that it has since the first one left for Montessori School more than two decades ago.

If you are looking for me on these bright, cool September mornings, check Betsy's porch. There we will be, sipping coffee and watching the ghosts of Septembers past make their way to school.

They will be dawdling and chatting away, unaware of their mothers' watchful eyes.

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