Frostys and Fries by Peggy Bogaard-Lapp
As a last chance to enjoy what is left of our summer, Erica and I had our lunch in the park. We had been out running errands, picking up the last few items on the very long school supply list. It looks like fifth grade requires a lot to learn, 30 items, plus $43.00 for technology and student planner. I know this is all necessary, and I’m glad that I don’t have to write her name on each and every one of those #2 pre-sharpened pencils!
All of this supply gathering made us hungry, and we agreed on Wendy’s, as long as we could get a Frosty. And what is a Wendy’s without a Frosty? Erica says, “I bet if we were eating lunch at Wendy’s and people saw us dipping our fries in the Frosty, they would look at us funny.” I told her that probably everyone in the world already dips fries in their Frosty and if they saw us they would nod knowingly, and smile, because they understand. I see you smiling……
As we were sitting on the blanket under the tree, I asked her about what she is worried about for the coming school year. To my relief she said “homework.” I was truly afraid it would be making friends, or riding the bus. Actually, riding the bus is one of her concerns, but not big enough for a worry, but as a fifth grader she’s officially at the back of the bus, the prime location for coolness. As for the homework, I’m glad she sees it coming, and that she will need to put more effort and time into it. She is the type who needs pushed, but then again so does her mother. I’m looking forward to her fifth grade year, because like most parents, we re-live our own school years through our kids. I’m pretty fuzzy on my fifth grade year, I guess because it’s been too long ago.
I also asked her about what she was exited about. As any typical ten yer old girl, she answered “seeing my friends.” That’s something I do remember about fifth grade! I had a few friends that I saw over the summer, but come September (us old folks went back to school after Labor Day) there were a bunch of new, and a lot of familiar, faces. We gathered on the playground at first recess and it was like we had never been apart for three months. I know that is something that never changes.
On Monday, I will again take the first day of school photo just as I have for five years. It’s a ritual that nearly every parent or guardian does across America, one that helps transition us into the next step of letting go of our children. I hope that Erica has a great year in fifth grade, without a lot of worries. I hope her mom does too.