Back to School-August Challenge

I almost thought about skipping the blog challenge/post thing today. See, I didn’t make it an official goal. I didn’t set an expectation for myself related to how frequently I would write to one of the prompts or whatever. That means skipping a day would be perfectly fine. 

But I also know that I didn’t hit my full word count today (although I edited a decent amount this morning). I also know that I have time right now that I could be using for this purpose. So, I’m not going to waste the time. I’m going to check on the three prompts for today and write something. 

As a reminder, there are 3 sources I’m drawing prompts from in August:

  1. Single word creative prompts from 
  2. Journaling nonfiction prompts from 
  3. Poetry prompts from 

The kids started back at school yesterday which means today there’s a lot of discussion flying around about what supplies they need and what syllabi they need signed. That means my attention is in about three different places while I’m attempting to write this. So, we’re going with the journaling prompt today. I have a feeling this one will let me settle into writing about something real for just a bit. 

It’s back to school month. How did you feel about back to school season as a child?

I clearly remember the crisp folders for each class with those crisp clean colors and pockets not yet sagging from paper overload. Then there was the notebooks, carefully labeled with subjects and color coordinated to the appropriate folder. I remember the backpack even having nice clean pockets. Everything had a home, a spot where it lived when it wasn’t in use. Pencils were lined up, ready to use. Nothing was worn down. Nothing was out of ink. All of the supplies were in the best shape they would ever be in. 

I also remember being incredibly nervous. Year after year I would worry that something would go wrong. I was terrified of being left behind, being in the wrong class, having no friends near me, or making the wrong person angry. I would start to get really worried about the first day about a week before it actually arrived. I would use that nervous energy to wash the laundry, repack my school supplies in just the right way, and choose that perfect first day outfit. Funny, I can’t remember any of those carefully curated outfits now. They seemed so important at the time. 

I remember hardly sleeping the night before the first day of school. I would lay in my bed, staring at the ceiling, telling myself that I really should sleep. I would count down: if I fall asleep right now, I can get eight hours of sleep. Then seven hours. Then six and a half. Eventually, I would sleep. The alarm clock would wake me up the next morning and, somehow, I was never tired. The resilience of our bodies when we are young is something we never truly appreciate until it is too late. 

I always liked school and, for that reason, I always liked back to school time. School was a place where I could learn new things, be challenged, and excel in exciting ways. School was something I was good at, something I knew how to do well. 

The most fascinating thing about school is that there is that chance to hit the restart button every year. Each new grade starts with its own first day of school. Even if you’re starting with essentially the same kids in the same school you’ve been in, it’s a fresh start. It’s new. Really, as adults, we never get a chance like this. A brand new start every Autumn. 

So enjoy it. Let your kids enjoy it. First days don’t come around all the time. 

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