Sunday, August 24, 2008

'Twas the Night Before School Starts

Tomorrow the freedom of summer ends for me. Gone are the nights of staying up late, because now I will have to get up early. Gone are the days of wearing pajamas for half the day and not putting on makeup until three in the afternoon. I will have to be ready before seven in the morning, and I have to wear makeup so I don't scare the adolescents under my care. I am not a morning person, so these facts sadden me. I am excited to be starting my new job, but I'm also full of first day jitters. I'm trying to remind myself that I survived my first year, and survived it pretty well, but I'm still nervous. I kind of feel like a first year teacher again because I'm starting at a different school, and everything is so different, and

Anyway, all of this nervous, before school starting stuff has reminded me of the night before school starts experiences of my childhood, and particularly of my adolescence. And the back to school of my childhood would not have been back to school without new school clothes.

At the end of the summer each year, my mom would take us school shopping. This meant we got new clothes for the upcoming school year. Keep in mind, I grew up in middle-of-nowhere-central-Washington. Buying school clothes was a much grander affair than your typical car ride to the mall. We had to go out of town to go school shopping. Sometimes, that meant a two hour trip to Spokane. If we were lucky, it meant we'd get to go to Seattle where our ultra cool, trendy relatives lived. We would shop all day, and, if it was a Seattle excursion, we would play with the fun toys the aforementioned cool, trendy relatives had at night. In true Beadnell fashion, we would stay up late, drink Pepsi, and order pizza. And of course, I would always be introduced to cool music that I could take home and jam to. As an added bonus, these out of town excursions insured I wouldn't show up the first day of school wearing the same Maurice's shirt as three or four other girls.

As if buying these clothes wasn't exciting enough, my mom added intensity to the practice. Once we came home from the shopping trip, we weren't allowed to wear our new clothes until the first day of school. In my closet, they would hang crisply from their hangers. Tags still attached (to remind me of their utterly complete newness of course). The new clothes' smell spreading its joy to my closet.

Before school started, the clothes would come out, as I planned and re-planned outfits. What would I wear on the first day? Choices were limited, as a lot of my new clothes would be for the fall, and it would still be hot on the first day. What shoes went best with this shirt? I would try things on over and over. I wouldn't beg and plead to wear my new things, because I just thought it was a fact of life. I thought ALL kids had to wait to wear their new clothes until the first day of school. I don't think I fully realized that wasn't a universal rule until I got married and found out Chad's mom had no such policy.

Once I had my first day's outfit planned, I would move on to mapping out the entire first week. That's right, I would know what I was wearing, Monday through Friday, before I even set foot in the school.

Sigh. Oh to be young again. Tomorrow, I will see my students, decked out in their first day of school attire. As for me, I haven't a clue what I'll be wearing. In fact, after looking at my laundry basket an hour ago, it became quite clear that my choices tomorrow are going to be limited to what's clean. Even so, it's fun to reminisce and remember the magic of new school clothes.


  1. Jared Jensen8:53 PM

    I remember those days. Now we just go to the gateway, right down the road. Not near as fun. I also remember getting orange julius's at the mall in spokane.

  2. Ok Katie, I had the same rules! We never wore our school clothes until after the first day of school, and I also always had my whole week planned out. I too thought that was the norm, until I married, and David has to even wash everything before he wears it, that was definitely a no no at my house, the best feeling is putting on new clothes!! WE also ALWAYS had new undies and socks!! Oh I love getting new school clothes!

    good luck with school starting tomorrow, I am sure you will be wonderful and the kids will love you!

  3. Good Luck at your first day! You made me remember all my back to school shopping! Oh the days :) P.S. Love the house and when you get your hands on it it's going to be adorable (because man i don't know what the owners before were thinking with some of that wallpaper) Anyway hope to see you soon! Love ya.

  4. LOVE this post! I had similar school shopping excersions at my house! We would go to Spokane and eat at the Olive Garden there after shopping! Seriously, now I have to worry that I have some of the same mall-clothes as my students! :D Good luck with the first day of school, I got jitters too and I am on my 3rd year at the same school! :D

  5. I cannot wait for my Lauren to get home from school today so I can show her this post. She planned her attire for the entire first week, down to posting the 7-day forecast on her message board in her room! I happened to see it yesterday when I was in her room and thought, "Why is a weather forecast up here?" Then I realized she kept asking me about the weather for the first week of school.

    Guess it's some undiscovered gene on the female strand of DNA or something!

    Interesting! Good luck on your first day--the kids will love you, I'm sure of it!


  6. We were not allowed to wear our new school clothes until the first day either.... Hope your first day was spectacular, and while you may not smell of new clothes, at least you will smell of clean clothes! :) Sara Talbot

  7. That's too funny. I had the same rules only, I think I was the one who enforced them for myself. Heaven forbid, I should ever be seen at school in my summer, not-in-school attire. I loved going out of town to the mall for the special day of finding something totally incredible. The mere memory of it makes me want to drive to Tri-cities right now and grab me adorable new clothes (with shoes to match).

  8. I just love the way you write. You totally brought back all my back to school clothes shopping memories. We also had the same rule for school clothes. Hope your first few days have been going well!

  9. Wait you're telling me there are actually Mom's out there who don't make their kids wait until school starts. . . . that's crazy!

    Hey by the way I nominated you for something on my blog you should check it out!

  10. Oh can't wear pj's to work.
    And they require makeup.
    What kind of place is this?
    I hope you have a great first week.
    I hope you picked out just the right outfits.
    I know the kids adored could they not?


I love comments, and I love to respond to them personally! Is your email activated in your Blogger Profile? This is the way I respond to readers. You can create a blogger profile, even if you're not a blogger!

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...