Here in Atlanta school starts on August 14. I’m almost as excited as if I were a kid myself. The beginning of the new school year has always been one of my favorite times. I was never very fond of summer break. Until I was in my teens, my mom couldn’t drive. We lived on this road in a neighborhood that never quite got it together enough to be a suburb or a community. Maybe developers thought the city of Albany was going to spread all the way to where we lived, but it didn’t. So we were stuck off in this street that went nowhere, far from any mass transit (I think there were busses), and yet not rural enough to enjoy the benefits of woods and romping over meadows or whatever people do in rural areas. There were no children in our neighborhood for a very long time.
It was boring.
My mom was not an ideal companion. She didn’t play with kids. My dad was tired when he got home and mostly concerned about avoiding mom. Neither thought to find me some kids for me to play with. My mom was too anti-social, anyway. She would have done something weird, like accuse the other moms of forming a secret society just to persecute her.
It was hot.
Summers in south Georgia are hot, sultry, sticky, mosquito-infested horrors. I have never been good with heat, and we didn’t have ready access to a pool. I spent a lot of time indoors. Probably a good thing, since trucks drove through spraying the area with DDT to kill the mosquitoes.
So, school was a mecca of stimulation and structured activity. The purchase of school supplies was one of the high points. I still love the smell of office supply stores and the glorious selection of binders, notebooks, pencils and pens. And the beginning of the school year meant that cooler weather would soon follow.
So I’m looking forward to next week, when there will be school orientations for both girls. Dear Husband is out buying supplies, taking advantage of the tax holiday. I would liked to have shopped for school supplies, but he told me it was awful—because everyone is taking advantage of the tax holiday of course. So when the frenzy dies down I’ll meander through the aisles at one of the drugstore and snuff the wonderful scent of new beginnings.