It’s always seemed to me that this day, the first day of school, is a more natural beginning to the year than January 1st is. The real new year comes at a low point for me. The winter is still deep and dark, nothing in nature changes at that time, the kids go back after winter break to the same schedule they had before and so do I. September though, the summer has ended, there’s a big change in the weather, in expectations, in the routine… everything changes in September. The first day of school marks the end of the lazy, relaxed summer routine, where everyone can stay up late if they want, get up late if they want, where.. if you’re a mum with a home office, there’s little difference between a Saturday and a Wednesday. Come September, there’s the rebirth of the weekend, the rebirth of setting alarms to get up on time, and of getting the laundry done since suddenly nobody can wear the same pants four days in a row without social stigma. (Except me. I’m a writer. I’m exempt from a lot of social conventions. You wouldn’t believe how unkempt we can be before people think we’re falling off the curve.) September is, for anyone with school aged kids, the month of obvious movement, advancement and comforting structure. Homework, meals at a specific time.. curfews and lessons.
I love the first day of school, and not just because I’m alone in my office. It makes me want to start everything new, tidy the house up, make everything organized, buy a new raft of post-its and make schedules and lists.
It’s a fresh start. Happy New Year.