Back to School

Our boys, along with thousands of school age children and several thousand college students, head back to school today. And while Dylan and Ben wrinkle their noses and complain, deep down, I know they're excited to return to class. Dylan even went so far as to lay out his clothes last night, to be sure he was ready this morning. He starts grade six today.

I shared with him that grade six was a rather special year for me, among my favorite, having reached the highest level at Assiniboine School, near the top of the class. There was a tradition at the school that is reaching up from the depths of my memory banks, that once you graduated from grade six, you would be allowed to use the front door of the school, along with the parents and the teachers. I'm not sure why, but the thought of that privilege being so close added to the import of the year.

It seems like yesterday that Dylan was a four-pound baby swaddled in my arms back in 1999. Now, he's turning into a man, not ever-so-slowly, rather, much-too-quickly. Grade six is almost junior high which is almost high school and college.

For the record, I loved going back to school. Time stood absolutely still during the summers of my youth, and in a small town, that wasn't necessarily a good thing. I got bored, easily. Going back to school meant that time picked up its pace, and Christmas was just beyond the horizon. It meant new notebooks, pencils and pens. It meant happy distraction and something to do, five days a week.

I think of grade six and I think of Mr. Schaeffer, Kurt Lackten, Colleen West, Warren Todischuk, Nancy Kazakoff and Shianne W. (whose name I can say but can't remember how to spell). I think of feeling important, older, wiser, more responsible. I think of rousing class discussions and the anticipation of what junior high school would bring. I think of the school, Assiniboine School-the way it looked then and the way it looks now. The once lush green manicured lawn in the front is now overgrown with prairie grasses. The shining building is boarded up and going back to nature. Grade six reminds me of the inevitable truth that time marches on, whether we want it to or not.

August 30, 2010 - 198.4 pounds (OUCH! -- too many nachos), 29.2% body fat


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