Tuesday, August 18, 2015

First Day of School

First day of school, 1979:
Jon in his first leisure suit, 
looking manly and important in khaki,
Jeff in brown, 
and Lisa in a navy top and pants 
with bright bumblebee stripes.
I group them by the door for a photo:
First Day of School,
all innocent and smiling,
sent off unknowingly
to a jury of their peers.
Stephanie is sad she isn't big enough to go.
She looks sadly out the window 
as they troop down the sidewalk.

First day of school after school:
They slam in the back door,
fling down their packs, 
shed their shoes in a heap.
How was it? I ask brightly.
Jon flings off his suit jacket.
"I'm never doing that again! 
We looked like idiots, the only ones in suits."
Lisa : "The kids called me Bumblebee all day!"
(In fact, they called her Bumblebee all year!)

I never heard the end of it.
I'd been so proud, as a single mom of four, 
to manage new outfits, 
school supplies and backpacks.
I meant well. 
But that Bumblebee suit still comes up in conversation,
every now and then, 35 years later.

LOL. for Gabriella's prompt at dVerse: Back to School.  


  1. Oh, poor little kids. I guess there was a benefit to wearing uniforms. I like the allusion to "a jury of their peers." Yep.

  2. Ha. We try our hardest for sure. And as a single mom I know it was all the harder. I cant help but chuckle because it is no different these days trying to buy for kids - and what we think looks great , well...does not always measure up.

  3. Love the photos, your writing and that striped outfit

  4. Love the story and pictures Sherry ~ We tried very hard to impress people on the first day of school, right ~ Thank goodness for uniforms ~ I love that cute bumblebee suit ~

  5. We always get blamed, don't we?

  6. You know what they say about hell being paved with good intentions! Parents do want kids to look good, don't they? I am sure now you would not even gift Lisa with a striped t-shirt.

  7. Hilarious
    Thanks so much for sharing !!
    Really fun

  8. It probably didn't seem funny then, but it works in your poem--with an ouch for the single mom who had gone out of her way to make the day good! I once was dressed in hand-me-downs that everyone recognized and knew. I probably felt just like that bumblebee daughter. But they all look so great in the picture!

  9. Thanks. I was so in sync with you when you asked them about their day "brightly". Forever hopeful.

  10. Fine looking group...you did your best but jury of peers is a tough bunch! Thanks for the smiles :)

  11. Awww, I'm sure all of us parents can relate to that - such a painful story. They look so proud in those pictures, though (before they were exposed to those ruthless other children).

  12. oh heck - that is tough for both sides - you meaning so well and they being laughed of by their fellow students.. i once wore a pink skirt and blazer at work and a colleague said i look like a piece of strawberry cake - she said it with a smile and it was fun but hey - i never wore that again

  13. Sad...kids can be so cruel...not their fault...just a product of their vile parents.

  14. i have a feeling mom taught a few nature studies

  15. Sometimes it doesn't matter what a kid wear... the dress is not the reason.. the judging by the peers have already decided the sentence, they are only looking for a reason. When I got my first nice-looking ski-jacket (supercool) they called me Franz Klammer....

  16. ouch...poor kids..but i love that bumblebee suit Sherry :D...

  17. Looking back, how time flies, doesn't it! Good to see your kids as they were then, and I know they are all happy, contented in their own ways, because they had a wonderful mom in the first place!

  18. Had some nice smiles while reading this one; nice to find some levity in the glance back. Hope you did not have to raise all four kids completely alone. Our past is rife with tidbits that shed light on who we are.

  19. Ah.. mothers pride of children
    like cubs of mother Lioness
    step high step low
    grow more
    as Love
    in out
    as tides
    of dark
    and Light..
    a mix makes
    birds buzz
    and bees fly..:)

  20. Very inspiring for me that you managed four children all by yourself - it's a mammoth achievement. The poem is really adorable like bumblebee stripes.

  21. Oh, the things we do for our kids, and the things kids remember. Not only did you mean well, you did well in spite of the wrong outfits. How did you ever do it? I had a husband and only one daughter. Still, I found it hard.

  22. oh dang, that is SOME outfit. today is my boy's first day - one is an incoming freshman, the other a junior. Wish I had that bee outfit for them :). and, I haven't posted on the blogger blog in years, I just keep it to comment on blogger. just haven't been writing much, of late... ~


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