>Happiness Challenge, Day 13

>I don’t have any kids, but there’s still a bit of excitement this time of year with it being back-to-school time. A big part of that is that back-to-school time signals that football is returning and, as I’ve said many times before, that makes me happy. Also, back in the day before there was cable (yes, there was such a time…) the start of school also meant that the long summer repeat season was slowly coming to an end. (I can still recall at a young age, tuning into the summer cliffhanger to Webster and not yet understanding the concept of a season cliffhanger. One week, Webster’s uncle wants to adopt him away from Ma’am and George and the next week, it’s back to wacky hi-jinks as usual….terribly confusing).

Growing up, I recall there was a bit of excitement about going back to school. (Yes, I guess I was a bit of a geek…big shock, huh?) Growing up an Air Force family, we often moved in the middle of the summer and the first day of school was a chance to meet other kids my age who didn’t live nearby. I went to a variety of schools growing up in a variety of places and I always remember being both excited and nervous about the first day of school–esp. when I was going to school in a new place.

In years we didn’t move, there was the excitement of a new year and seeing old friends again.

I was in Wal-Mart last week and made the mistake of getting in the general vicinity of school supplies. People were swarming all over them, lists in hand. I recall those vital decisions you had to make when it came to school supplies–which Trapper Keeper would I get? Which folders did I want? What kind of backpack? What color should the backpack be? And, of course, the greatest question of all–which lunchbox should I get? This was a vital decision because this would be something you carried with you all year long. So, getting the right lunch box wasn’t something you could just do on impulse. You had to think about it–what would it say about me and who I was?

I do recall I had several Star Wars lunchboxes growing up….as did a lot of of the other guys in my classes. I also recall the whole which was better–the metal or the plastic lunchboxes debate.

And now, here I am years later and watching as my niece gets ready to go to her first few days of kindergarten. She’s excited about it and I’m glad that she seems to like learning right now. Last week, she had me be the teacher and give her school tasks to do in preparation for going to school. I gave her a few simple math problems and got her to write her ABCs and some words out. And I tried to recall what it was like when I went to kindergarten all those many years ago (you know, back when we rode to school in our Model T’s).

Thinking about all of that–that’s my happiness for today.

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