Not that I've been away from this blog for, like, two months or anything ;-0. As I told a friend, "For me, the words 'summer vacation' are a euphemism for the words 'life stops'!" It's good to be back. I'll tell ya one thing--Wednesday, the first day of real, live school, the silence in this house was PALPABLE!! (Yummmm....! No, really, I love them, I really do. But a little chunk of silence? Delish!)
While I usually try to be funky or fun or semi-clever with titles, I opted for the stark, unpretentious sort for this post. Probably because it describes a reality that is stark, unpretentious, and highly unfunny. I will describe it as best I can. See if it jogs your memory the way it painfully jogged mine.
First Day of School
Backpack ready, check. Lunch, check. New uniform, check. Let's go, Mommy, we gotta get there already! We'll be late!
I hope I get the teacher I want. I hope she's nice.
I'm saving a seat for my best friend.
It looks like this: Neat rows of desks and chairs, paired in twos.
Girls talking excitedly, re-bonding, sitting together. Best friends have saved seats, other girls pair up in the moment.
And then, against the wall...
Against the wall are the loners.
They sit next to empty chairs. There is no one to sit next to them. Yet.
They wait, with half-eager, half-dreading eyes as each girl files into the classroom.
Will she pick me? Will she sit next to me?
Will she alleviate the loneliness of the chair beside me?
Will she be my friend?
Will this year be different than last year and the last year?
Those silent, empty seats scream out very loudly.
About Riva Pomerantz
I'm a freelance writer, widely published in several magazines including the internationally-distributed Ami Magazine and Mishpacha Jewish Family Weekly. Riva's work also appears on the award-winning website www.aish.com, amongst others. You can buy my books here.