Ryan Trares on parenting: New school, new year

Things were a little slow-going at first. But eventually, the energy kicked in.

Anthony went back to school earlier this month. After more than two months of leisurely waking up, lounging in pajamas for a while eating breakfast, then finally starting the day, we suddenly had a hard-and-fast schedule to follow.

Not that we weren’t prepared. Over the past few weeks, we had gathered pencils, markers, dry erase boards, glue sticks and myriad other supplies that his teacher requested. Anthony got to pick out his backpack and lunchbox, and in true 7-year-old fashion, went Avengers on both.

We had also stocked up on new t-shirts, shorts, socks and underpants — nothing beats going back-to-school shopping for new clothes. Once again, the choices were heavy on superheroes; his first-day outfit was all of his favorite Marvel characters.

An added twist was that Anthony was attending a new school this year. His district opened up a new building this summer, one that is joyfully located just a block from our house. Construction on the school was ongoing, nearly until the first day, but in touring the building, Anthony was in awe at the spacious classrooms and bright, airy cafeteria.

So we were as ready as we were going to be.

That didn’t mean there wasn’t some rust to knock off on that first morning. Anthony had no interest in getting out of bed at first. When presented with breakfast, he said he wasn’t really hungry, until I explained to him that there wouldn’t be any mid-morning — or mid-mid-morning — snacks today. That stuck with him as he chomped his bagel.

But there was no hiding the excitement Anthony was feeling as he got dressed, gathered his things and posed for the requisite photos before we went to drop him off. He was jumping, skipping, kicking and generally couldn’t sit still.

I could relate. There is something about the start of a new school year that is refreshing, even as an adult.

When I was growing up, the start of school coincided with the onset of crisper, cooler fall days. The air just felt different. That’s not the case anymore; we’re just now entering the dog days of summer. Still, things feel different. Not only is it exciting to see our child head off into a new adventure, but it’s a chance to reset and make new goals for the upcoming months.

For me, that means finishing the year running 100 miles each of the next four months, taking advantage of the late summer bounty by eating more local veggies and seeking out original, unique, meaty story ideas here at the newspaper.

The novelty of the fresh school year won’t last forever. We’ll soon settle into this new routine, getting through the days instead of looking forward to them.

While there’s a wave of enthusiasm electrifying our house, though, I hope we all get to take advantage.

Ryan Trares is a senior reporter and columnist for the Daily Journal in Franklin. Send comments to [email protected]