When I arrived at work today, my first reaction was, “I did it.”
I actually survived the summer.
That’s not to say that I don’t love summer vacation or love having time off with my kids. I do.
What I don’t love is juggling work with my kids’ non-existent summer camp, creating many days when my 11 year old was in charge of “Camp Sussman.” And Camp Sussman often looked more like camp television and camp computer than it did anything else.
But we did it. We all survived and even enjoyed ourselves, and now it’s time for new beginnings. Here was the first one this morning.
And as the first day of school rolls around, I get nostalgic, of course.
I don’t recall the beginning to every single school year, but I vividly remember the few days before our first school year in Israel. It was August of 2004 and we had just arrived. The night before school started, we went to meet with some members of the Neve Daniel yishuv to talk about the community. I remember that they had their kids’ backpacks all lined up against the wall by their front door. We only had a four year old, a two year old and a baby on the way at the time and no backpacks to speak of; and their organization and excitement struck me as so cute.
It’s hard to describe how pervasive the Jewish holidays are here – how much the rhythm of the country pulsates to the same tune.
The country is in it together, sending our kids off to school with a wave and a smile, and hoping for another wonderful year. The streets are packed with kid-filled cars; the commotion in front of the schools can be heard from blocks away; and work environments almost all start late, as the parents come rushing in after drop off. Facebook, of course, is abuzz with every first-day picture and parents are all breathing a collective sigh of relief while nervously awaiting the moment when the kids walk in the door with the first report.
A trip down memory lane: