A Year to Remember

A Year to Remember – Steven Callis

My wife and I tried to make it as painless as possible when our children were young, and it really should not be that difficult for any parent. We are talking about new clothes, new lunch box, new backpack, new classroom supplies – – it is time for a new school year! It seems these days that the important thing about all that new stuff is to camouflage the “newness.”

I was looking at some of the styles available today. There was a pair of women’s jeans called Destroyed Detail Ripped Faded Jeans. As I browsed, it seemed that more holes and rips cost more money. That would never have gone over with my mom when she took me shopping for new school clothes (or any time for that matter!).

I would come out of the dressing room and embarrassingly stand in this public arena with other embarrassed boys as my mom pulled and tugged at those denim pants to make sure there was enough room in the waist and legs and seat and the – – well, you get the picture.

Of course, in those days faded jeans with holes in them were not the fad. No, these were dark blue denim with the cuffs rolled up twice (at least mine were – I was short back then). The jeans were so thick and stiff that I could not bend my leg at the knee until they had been washed at least twice, and sitting down in them was even a challenge. Running on the playground was a feat in itself on that first day of school!

And holes in my jeans? Are you kidding? My mom had an ample supply of iron-on denim patches for such occasions.

So off to school I went: pants pulled up to my waist, belt in place, shirt tucked in, no hat, unscuffed sneakers…headed to my new classroom wearing my new clothes with my new school supplies neatly packed in my new red and black plaid book satchel and matching tin lunch box, complete with leaking thermos. I probably tried not to show it, but I know I felt as proud as Mary rollin’ on a river.

Then there were the new books, new friends, and new teachers. Mrs. McClendon was my first grade teacher. She appeared older than the lady in the classroom across the hall, but she really knew how to make learning fun. She gave out good hugs, told great stories, and sent Larry to the office when he jammed the point of a pencil into the palm of my hand.

It is with fond memories and deep appreciation that I pray this week for parents, teachers, administrators, school staff, bus drivers, and students. May this truly be a school year to remember!

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