Smiles on their faces and their own stories to tell
August 28, 2010
Listened to the show Saturday and it was not bad. There I was, smack dab in the middle of the living room floor amidst piles of notebooks and three-ring binders and pens and erasers and loose-leaf paper and rulers... Inventory time. Had the list right there, checking off what we have and don't have as far as school supplies go, and we've got a lot, but what's on the list is substantial and I've got my work cut out for me.
School starts up the day after Labor Day, and, let me tell you, the kids are counting down the days. Summer always starts off slow and lazy, but somewhere along the way things accelerate and suddenly you can count those days on two hands, and there's a small feeling resembling panic on the skin. But not panic. A restlessness, maybe, for what we haven't done yet, for the numbered hours, for the class schedule and unfamiliar classrooms and teachers and textbooks to be covered.
I've always held in me a love for school, for learning, for the feeling that rises up this time of year. There's been a break from the heat and a few cool nights and that first sense of autumn's approach, and that familiar excitement for lit lights on the football field and full backpacks and plaid flannel shirts and the scent of pencil shavings and fresh paper and eraser rubbings and the sounds of chalk on the board and teachers lecturing up and down the halls.
You can't force or even pass on a love for all this to your children. You can only load 'em up with supplies and your own stories and hope to high heaven they get off that bus on Day One with smiles on their faces and their own stories to tell. You sure can hope. Because there's nothing quite like the feeling of having learned something new, some beautiful poem or story or theorem or musical score; a line of Spanish, perhaps, or a new play on the ball field. Thank goodness for those teachers who know about that hope and put it to work in sculpture class and band and economics and science. All those hopes. All those dreams. All those supplies I need to pick up. But not today. It's still summer enough, and there's a lake too near to ignore.
Before you're blueberried out, here's a healthy route to go. Save the mac and cheese for tomorrow, and get out your blender and whip up a batch for lunch. No one is going to complain about this one. Guaranteed.
1 cup blueberries
1 ripe banana
1/2 cup orange juice
3/4 cup frozen vanilla yogurt
1/2 cup ice
Whirl in a blender until smooth. Serve immediately or freeze.
Just so you know: The Department of Agriculture tested over 40 fruits and vegetables in 1997 and found blueberries to be the highest of all tested in the amount of antioxidants. Now, that was a while back, but still.