One half hour later, however, my local Staples was simply jammed with kids and grownups alike.
On the way back from Staples, at the classic ‘school’s-out’ hour of 3:00, I saw four kids shrieking with joy and running like mad along the sidewalk, raincoats tucked in around their bouncing backpacks because the day had cleared and it was now 84 degrees out. They were, as best as I could tell:
- A Second Grader
- A Third Grader
- A Fourth Grader and, on the Fourth Grader’s back, having the piggyback ride of her life….
- An especially tiny First Grader.
I smiled so wide I thought I couldn’t smile any wider.
And then I saw a toddler and a kindergartener standing with the family dog and their mother, getting ready to greet another galloping schoolchild just heading in their direction from down St. Mary’s way.
To mark the triumphant return of this schoolchild, whom I judged to be around ten, the kindergartener had lifted the pup up on its hind legs and was waving its paw in greeting. Then the schoolchild waved, the mother waved, the kindergartner freed one hand from the puppy to wave too and the toddler popped his thumb from his mouth and gaped.
Yup. The first day of school is a mighty day, no matter how you slice it.