Sunday, September 2, 2012

Back To School ...

Tomorrow is Labor Day which for a lot of people means they have a 3-day weekend. Tomorrow there will be time spent with friends and family, perhaps a BBQ, or maybe even a baseball game. In my case it'll be a local parade. Over the years my kids have marched in several of the local community parades. My son marched in a Sterling Heights parade when he was young with his softball team (they were the city champs that year in their age division). All through high school he marched with his marching band at the Romeo Peach Festival Parade. Now for the last two years it's been my daughter's turn with her marching band. I love to hear the bands play and I laugh when I watch all of the little kids scramble at the curb for the candy that the clowns throw. Labor Day for many is a day for rest and reflection and appreciation. Many veterans will march at the parades and it's a wonderful sight to see people cheer and honor them for all they have given.

Labor Day also says that the summer season is drawing to an end. Yes, we will still have warmer temperatures for a few weeks, but many of us will be so busy we won't even notice. The day AFTER Labor Day (at least for those of us in Michigan) marks the first day of the new school year. The school supplies may already be bought, the football games have already begun, and many of the high school girls are already talking about their homecoming dances.

This year is unique for me. My oldest just got a new job teaching high school chemistry and my youngest is a high school senior. I guess times do change, whether we're ready for them or not. This year will be full of excitement for everyone. Whether you have kids of your own, nieces or nephews, grandchildren, or even have a soft spot for the boy down the street who shoots hoops in his driveway every night til it's dark ... be there for them. Being young and being in school is a special time for every child (no matter their age). Help them to make the most of it. Encourage them. Show them your support. Drive them to a dance class or soccer game. Shout their name from the stands when they score a touchdown or do a cheer. Let them know that this is their time to have fun, experience life, and learn, but it's also important to teach them to be good people.  Kids today face a lot of peer pressure and bullying. Too many times kids feel alone and that they have no one they can talk to. Don't let that be the case. Be a mentor or a coach or just a friend. With everyone doing their part I think we can be ready for another great school year. What do you say? Can I count on you?

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