Sing along with me, "It's the most wonderful time of the year"! No I'm not losing it, and while the lyrics to that song are typically reserved for Christmas, it is Back To School time, and thousands of parents are getting ready to celebrate the fact that the ids will be out of the house for at least seven hours a day! Vacations are coming to a close, summer camps have wrapped up, and it is time to hit the books.
Sometimes life can feel cyclical, which puts time in perspective. I remember working on the issue this time last year and panicking because I decided to include a back-to-school fashion layout and panicking trying to schedule the students for their photo shoots. As you will notice in this issue, I decided to skip the photo shoot this year (just way too much work). However, I am very proud of this issue as it has several features, including advice from educators in the "What Say You?" section, which is back after being out for the last couple of issues. A special thank you to Dr. Roneisha M. Randall and Renetta Williams for their contributions. Also, check out the "Ask the Expert" article written by registered dietitian Celines Martinez who provides some great advice about healthy eating for families as we get into our school routines.
As we focus on going back to school, I would be remiss if I didn't touch on our students who are heading off to college. For me, it is very personal this year as my son, my baby boy, Christian, heads off to college for the first time. Not only is he going to college, but he is moving to a whole new state! You can imagine all the feelings that come with that. I am excited, nervous but generally beaming with pride for him. He will get an opportunity to play collegiate football while pursuing a degree in Graphic Design, something he became passionate about over the past couple of years. To add to the complexities of these feelings, my daughter Madison will be entering her senior year of college, which is still mind-blowing to me. That was a quick four years, but so excited to watch her grow and develop into a strong, intelligent, and thoughtful young woman. As she works to wrap up her degree in Marketing next year - the sky is the limit for her! What this all means for me is that I am officially an empty nester. I never had put much thought into this new phase of life however I will say there is a sense of accomplishment to have my two children in college! While I am not a big social media user, I have already been incorporating the hashtag #twokidsincollege as a way to show my excitement (and stress) about tuition, grades, and overall worry as a parent about having children in college. I offer prayers of protection for my children and all of our children as we make this transition. The world is so different than when I was growing up, and we find ourselves worrying about things like gun violence and mass shootings that seemed unfathomable just a few short years ago but now are unfortunately happening so frequently that many have become desensitized to them.
It has been a quick summer, and it feels like it should only be mid-July. Before we know it (if it hasn't already happened), our retail stores will begin putting out Halloween, Thanksgiving, and Christmas displays. In a couple of weeks after reading this article, the major coffee chains will start promoting the ever-popular pumpkin spice latte flavors signaling that the fall season is right around the corner. So as the 1965 folk-song Turn! Turn! Turn! by the group The Byrds states: To everything (turn, turn, turn)
There is a season (turn, turn, turn)
And a time to every purpose, under heaven I trust that in this season you take the time to reflect, recharge and connect. Make sure you take time for yourself, (self care matters), embrace your loved ones and keep an eye out for our children.