Who doesn’t love that holiday feeling? You know that special feeling you have deep inside when your favorite holiday comes around. The anticipation, the glow, the joy, the eventual let-down when it’s over…they are all part of the holidays. The way that memories of your favorite holiday can stay with you long after the actual day has passed. I guess I’m just feeling a little melancholy since one of my favorite holidays passed just a couple weeks ago. No, not Labor Day. The holiday I’m referring to is “Ahh Day.” What?!?! You aren’t familiar with Ahh Day? Really? Oh, I bet you refer to it as it’s officially recognized and acceptable title—The First Day of School. I like to refer to it as “Ahh Day” since it was the first time I had a morning of peace in months. I was able to have two leave early in the morning. (My husband teaches and my oldest rides in with him.) My youngest left an hour later. So, I was able to have 3 gone by 8:15. That’s when I quietly closed the front door and reverently responded, “Ahh!”
Yes, there was the usual chaos that precedes a holiday—the running around for this or that. The last minute packing and wrapping, labeling all those new folders like voids waiting to be filled with overwhelming school assignments, and looking for that right colored paper clip for the communication journal for the youngest one. There was the usual fight to get kids asleep who are anxiously anticipating the next day. (Of course, it isn’t the same anticipation as before say, Christmas.) The last minute checking—did I remember to notify everyone on my list? The decorating the hall—with backpacks and school supplies tucked inside. The breathless anticipation of capturing the magic of waiting for the bus (or for Dad to get to the car) with my camera. Stuffing mouths with that magically delicious frozen waffle all warm and toasty from the toaster with care. There was even the special holiday drink—high octane caffeine laden espresso mix coffee so I could maintain my holiday spirit. It’s just a magic day.
Now, I know what you are saying as you are reading this. Some of you just laughed out loud. Some of you scoffed. Some of you vehemently disagreed with me. Some of you actually snorted out loud. (Go ahead, admit it.) And I will readily acknowledge that for most of us, the day actually holds equal amounts of dread and worry. Will they be ok? Will they have someone be nice to them? Will my little one throw a fit that will rival a nuclear meltdown? Will my oldest make it through the day without a locker mishap? Will the day go the way I hope it should? Will all the plans made in those long CSE meetings be adequately followed? However, if we are honest with ourselves, deep down inside, we relish those first few moments of quiet. For me, it’s a chance to celebrate the fact that I made it through yet another summer without losing my mind. It’s a chance to take stock over a HOT cup of coffee. A chance to make myself an indulgent breakfast and eat it while it’s still warm without interruption. Event the pets knew to remain quiet…the dog going through his own mini depression.
So, join my campaign to get “Ahh Day” recognized as a special holiday for parents. Yes, the date is different across the nation and each person may choose to celebrate it differently. However, it is our chance to share in the typical moment. It’s an all too brief chance to grasp at the possibilities of the beginning of the year before the realities of struggles and differences steal that hope and force us to return to Parent Advocate mode. Sure, Hallmark doesn’t recognize it now and will probably exploit the card sending potential as soon as I release this post…but don’t parents deserve another “mini” holiday? Join the campaign! Remember to embrace the tiny “Ahh” moments and keep the magic of that moment in your heart. And be sure to start planning how to celebrate next year.