Do You Remember the First Day of School?

first-day-of-school-1So many firsts today.  My oldest grandson started high school today.  I’m sure it was exciting and frightening for him.  Two of my younger friends had children going to their first day of college today.  For almost all the other children in Canada, it was the first day of some grade.  For me, it was the first day back to work as a school bus driver after a wonderful, relaxing summer.

I don’t get quite as excited as the children do about the first day of school but I still get a little bit of butterfly stuff going on my tummy, even as an adult.

Do you remember those first days of  school?

Not too many of us remember our very first day of school unless we have exceptional memories.  Our mothers likely would remember it though.  They might even recall what you we wore and what the weather was like.  Most of them will recall some tears that were shed as they watched you disappear into a school bus or a classroom which seemed to swallow you whole.

I don’t remember the first day of school until I went to Grade four.  I had a blue dress on and I was going to a new school.  Mom was a teacher and had transferred to a town about 30 minutes from home.   It was easier for her to take me than to leave me with sitters so off I went with her every day for the next five years.  It wasn’t until I went to high school that I returned to school at home.

When you were a teacher’s kid in those days you usually got to go back to school a few days early and help with decorating the classroom and running off “seat work” on the Gestetner.  It also helped that I got to know teachers in their more relaxed environments because I was around for staff meetings and staff parties.  Often the teachers were at my home.  Some people thought it meant I was given special treatment but it was quite the opposite.  I was actually held to a much higher standard and if I got in trouble at school my mother always knew.  That meant I was in double trouble.

The first day of school which stands out for me was the first day of high school.  My friend, who was already in Grade 11 walked with me but once I went through those doors she was gone and I was alone in a pond full of people I hardly knew.  I hadn’t been to school with that group of people since grade three and there were more than from the country I didn’t know.  I was terrified of the assembly I had to go to.  I’d never been in a gymnasium and to be there alone made my knees knock.

At some point during the week I had a horrible dream about getting lost in the hallways and being late for class.  It became a recurring dream and I still have it once in a while.

As the years have gone by there have been many first days.  First day of college.  First days at jobs.  First days married and first days as a mother.  Not all of the first days are great memories.  Some were hard days which lacked the excitement of empty notebooks but all of our first days are days with the same plank page.

May you open your eyes today and every day as the children did this morning. May you be excited to wear the special clothes you picked for this day, and enjoy the food you packed in your lunch like you did on the first days of school.  May you bound through the door at night full of stories and wonder about new experiences, new friends and new opportunity.

May all your days be “First Days”.

About Peggy Guiler

You just never know what show up on my blog. As the name implies it is about the stuff of life just like Spilt Milk. Everyday events spark thought and contemplation. Special events in the community, the country or the world may strike a cord and get me talking. Sometimes it's about people in my life or circumstances, sometimes about my garden, sometimes about a book or a political issue. Always it's about something I am passionate about. In my business, River of Hope Enterprises (, I work as an "Certified Coach" (International Coach Federation), a trainer, consultant and speaker. and as a spiritual director. I also drive a school bus to keep the wolf from the door while I build my business. I love the kids on the bus (most of the time). My family is grown and I have three grandkids who thrill my heart but I don't get to see any of them very often. Circumstances of life have made "family" difficult. My son died by suicide at age 16 in 2000 and the strain on our family relationships since has been huge. Mental health is a field where I worked for almost 22 years and where I still do some consulting and training. That combined with my own battle with depression and my son's death weave together to form some of my greatest soap box items: suicide intervention, suicide bereavement and peer support in mental health are right on the top of my list. Social justice is an underlying passion. Keeping the wolf from the door as a single parent was full-time work and my career path as a journalists was augmented with cleaning contracts, cooking, retail clerk, and bartending. I have known hard work and am grateful for the experience and perspective it has given me. A firmly grounded faith and a passion for learning has now taken me toward a new field as a Spiritual Director and I am soon adding to that a license to marry people. As I move toward retirement I am very aware that I have to keep working so I chose to do things which will meet my modest financial needs and also my love of supporting people in their life journey. Woven into all of this is my love of writing. Trained as a Journalist, and having worked in the field as a freelance news writer for many years, I have a great love for writing. This blog is a new beginning for me. As I hone my skills and begin to form a daily discipline of writing I hope it will lead to more writing in the future.
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