Kurt went back to work this morning, which is a good thing. I think he’s getting a bit bored sitting around the house, and he’s really tired of shopping. I don’t blame him at all — it’s just that we need a bunch of stuff for the baby still. We only have to get the little stuff now; if the baby came tomorrow, I think we’d be okay. Plus I like my space, and while it’s great having him home, I don’t mind his going to work especially when he’ll be home almost every night and weekends.
I joked with him this morning and told him to “have a good day at school today.” It’s like his first day of school since he’s going to a new ship. He’s still pretty weirded out that his new ship is so small — only about a hundred guys, and the only women on his ship are officers. Main Propulsion only has about 17 guys, which freaks him out because his last ship had 120. But then, his last ship had 600 crewmembers, male and female, on it.
Plus today just felt like the first day of school. His alarm went off at 4:30am, which woke me up because I was scared he would turn it off and then oversleep. It hasn’t happened yet… but it’s something I’m paranoid about. So we snoozed for another 10 minutes, and then I had to get up to use the bathroom. He got up right after me to get dressed, and since it was his first day at work, I got up with him to keep him company until he left at 4:45am (he’s got to take the 5:10am ferry to Seattle).
When I was little, I always loved the first day of school. My parents weren’t big on trying to get us to go to bed earlier each night to get ready for school, so the night before school started I would lay in bed at 8 or 9pm, trying to sleep when I wasn’t used to going to bed that early. Plus I was so excited about the next day.
Then it would be time to get up, and it would be the first time since May or June that I would see the sunrise, or at least an early hour, since I slept in all summer long. Seeing that first sunrise always felt almost magical, and gave new meaning to a new school year and a new beginning. I’d put on something nice to wear, just jeans and a t-shirt, but usually it was a shirt I was saving just for the first day of school.
As I walked to school or to the bus stop (depending on where I lived at the time), the air would be crisp and cool, hinting that fall was right around the corner. It just had that “first day of school” smell that was never present any other day of school. I’d get on the bus if I was riding it that year and find the seat I’d keep for the rest of the year, and look around at all the new people and the students that had gone to that school the year before.
Once we arrived at school, the feeling of newness remained. All the classrooms had gotten a deep cleaning over the summer, and so the school itself smelled fresh and clean, no matter how old it was. The teachers were still smiling at that point, hoping that this year would be better than the last, and there was always some confusion with students trying to figure out where they were supposed to go and where their lockers were.
We’d get our books in every class, and sometimes the books would be new, and I’d love to open the book for the first time and hear the cracking of the spine. I loved to be the first person to write my name on the inside front cover, and always tried to use my best handwriting. The smell of new textbooks is imprinted on my brain, and just added to the sense of newness. Sometimes we’d have new teachers, or teachers that we’d seen the last year but didn’t really know. Or we’d have a teacher we’d had before, but for a different subject.
Everything was new — our schedules, the classroom assignments, our lockers, even our friends sometimes. It always made me hopeful that it would be a good year for me. Sometimes it was, and sometimes it wasn’t. But it would always send a pang through me to realize after a couple of days that the newness of the school year had already worn off… and we were back to the same old grind.
I suppose it’s fitting that for me autumn has always represented a new beginning, as opposed to spring, like it is for most people. This year marks a very special new beginning for our family, as we welcome in our first born child, and we become parents for the first time.