It’s that time of year again. The summer days are drawing to a close, and most kids have either started school or start very soon. Tax-free weekend has come and gone. The school supply lists are crossed off, and new school clothes are clean and bright, for now. Regardless of whether your little one is off to kindergarten or college, parents pretty much have the same roller coaster of emotions going on right now.

Our two sons are going to the sixth and third grades this year. Our youngest has requested that school be year-round so he can learn and be with his friends every day of the year. Our oldest is entering those infamous pre-teen years and would rather sleep in on most days (I am not complaining, as he used to be a very early riser — like 5 a.m. early riser until about a year or so ago). 

I’ve had mixed emotions about him starting middle school. When we went to pick up his schedule and tour the building, a small bit of anxiety quickly set in as I thought to myself, “how in the world is he going to find his way around this three-story campus?”

Not only does he have to navigate this gigantic school, but he has an eight-period schedule daily with sports, band and core classes to maintain. Then, of course, you hear the horror stories about things that take place and a newfound freedom since they no longer have to walk in lines to their classes. I know he will be fine, but these are just a few of things worrying me as we approach the first day of school on Monday.

One thing that puts me at ease is the excellent staff that is there to help guide our children during these transitional times. There are a lot of wonderful people that support and help shape these young men and women, and I can’t wait to see what this year holds for our boys.

I am reminded of a time that I left home and moved away to college, only knowing a couple of people. Last year, I was going through some old boxes at my mom’s house, and I found a card that my beloved grandmother had sent me when I left on my “new adventure.” Just seeing her handwriting brought tears to my eyes. At that moment, 15 years ago, the words did not mean as much to me then as they do now, especially since she is no longer with us. It’s a beautiful reminder of the support and faith that she had in me. 

I was blessed with parents and grandparents that believed in my dreams and encouraged me to chase after them. I wasn’t handed the keys to achieving these dreams. I worked hard, made sacrifices and explored different paths until I found the one that was for me. And she always pushed me to do better, and I will always be grateful for that. It is something she passed on to me that I am now doing with my children.

I want to wish all of the students, parents and teachers a great school year. This one will probably fly by just like the last, but I hope you all have a wonderful year and make some amazing new memories together!

Elizabeth Engelhardt is the publisher for the Seguin Gazette.

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