The End Of Summer And The First Day Of School

I just found out school starts even earlier this year than last year. August 10th.

August 10th! That’s practically still July!


Part of me is happy because a semblance of a routine will be restored to our house, and part of me is… well, kinda sad.

I hated the end of summer when I was a kid. I liked school, and I loved seeing my school friends again, but summer was freedom and playing all day and doing whatever you wanted… and, yeah, occasionally complaining to mom that there was nothing to do.

Me: Mom, I’m bored!

Mom: Go outside and play.

Me: But there’s nothing to do!

You know the drill. Mom lists 8 million things that all sound terrible. (The day before school starts, they all sound better than going to school.)


Gosh, I loved summer. Still do. I also love Christmas, and Halloween, and Thanksgiving – oh, man, don’t get me started on Thanksgiving. Eating until you are stuffed? That’s my kind of holiday. We need more of those.

I also really like New year’s… Frankly, we have a holiday about once a month here in the US and A, so I get a reprieve from monotony all the time.

But summer rocks because as a kid it rocked, and I guess that’s forever.


When I discovered this moment from a few years ago, it reminded me there’s a whole new level of hate for the end of summer. 


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First Day Of School 2014

1st day of school b

I could never understand why people got emotional or cried about their kid going off to school for the first day of school.

It seemed silly.

The kid isn’t going anywhere.

I always figured, they aren’t really sad, exactly; it’s probably that they are overwhelmed with emotion and feeling a lot of things. Crying is one way of expressing it.

Now I think I understand.

I keep feeling like my daughter is going away. I’m going to miss her.

Silly, huh?

How can you miss somebody who’s going to be in your house every day, sleeping your house every night, eating breakfast at your table every morning?

She’s four years old. Three short years ago she was just learning how to walk. Two years ago she was learning how to get out of diapers to be potty trained. A year ago she was learning how to swim across the pool.

Seven days from now she goes off to her first day of school.

So many times she wanted to do things, but I couldn’t. I had to say “no.” That’s life. We get busy.

The start of school means there will be less time for those opportunities now. I feel bad about that. I wish I had said yes more. I wish I had made more time.

Yesterday, all she wanted was to swim in our pool and we didn’t even do that. It rained all day. There was too much lightning. What a way to end summer. Couldn’t even go for a swim 20 feet outside my own back door.

So, all that first day of school crying? Silly. It’s a combination of parental guilt and sadness and excitement and fear… School just gets the blame. But there’s also the immense pride at how grown up my little girl is becoming. How excited she is to make new friends. She made sure she had her lunch box and backpack all set to go. She carried it around all day. (I mentioned that school doesn’t start for a week, right?)

Parents feel an undeniable tint on this whole thing that is a steady reminder: with each passing day, the child needs the parents a little less.

I knew way back during those 3am feeding that this day would come. I was warned. I wanted it to come back then. Now, I wish I had more time.

Nobody enjoys saying goodbye.

That sweet little kid that looked up to me and thought I was the smartest, bravest, funniest man on Earth, who enjoyed laughing playing with me more than anyone else, is about to find out the truth

– that there are a lot of interesting kids in school, and, well… dad is still pretty neat, but these kids want to play hopscotch and climb trees and crawl through tubes!

It isn’t over, I know. That’s silly; everything is still just starting. And I want her to grow and explore and become the person she is going to be.

She isn’t going anywhere, but in some ways, she’s already gone.

It’s a tiny taste of what is coming and I don’t like it, even though I’m sure I’m going to enjoy how things are going to be. But that doesn’t mean I can’t also miss how they were.

So don’t expect me to be one of those parents crying on the first day of school.

I did it today when nobody was looking.


If you enjoyed reading this, visit bestselling author and humorist Dan Alatorre’s books on his Amazon page. Most of the stuff there won’t make you cry. 

You can check out my Facebook Author Page, too.

Published by Dan Alatorre AUTHOR

USA Today bestselling author Dan Alatorre has 50+ titles published in more than 120 countries and over a dozen languages.

17 thoughts on “The End Of Summer And The First Day Of School

  1. Hi Dan. Thanks for sharing these moments. They bring back both happy and sad memories. I wish my little girls were still at school. They have moved onto the next stage of life – university, summer jobs (the younger one with me in my office, weird concept!), lone travels to foreign countries with their boyfriends. So keep enjoying every single summer with Savvy.
    I’ve almost finished my piece for your contest. No, I haven’t forgotten. How could I forget 😉?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I said in my first book, Savvy Stories, that so many people had told me “kids grow up so fast.” Strangers would come up to me in the grocery store when she was a baby and say blink twice and you’ll be walking her down the aisle. So all those unique and special moments, I tried to write them down. That was the beginning of what turned out to be some funny and beloved Facebook posts and eventually a book. But so many people have said what you just said, that it took them back to the happy and sad moments from when their own children were small, it’s just a very special book to read and it’s very hard to explain to anybody without children why it’s so good.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. School on Aug. 10? That’s just wrong. Kids need to be kids. My young life was comprised of summers. Without those, I would not have the resilience and coping skills in later life that exceptional memories and experiences bring.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. We always went to school after Labour Day in Ontario. Here in Alberta, we’ve had years when kids started at the end of August. It’s a bit of a jolt when that happens, but usually it means a longer weekend or day in lieu somewhere. We don’t get out for summer until about June 28-30, though.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Here, in Michigan, school starts immediately after Labor Day. It has been like that for as long as I can recall. The only exception was when I was in a Catholic school for two years, they had their own schedule apart from the Detroit Public School system. Not having been able to have my own children, I can only relate as having been a child. I loved the summers as much as I loved school and remember, fondly, the starry summer skies my friends and I would stare into when we had to climb out of the pool, as our parents were going to sleep for they had to get up for work in the morning. We’d stretch out on the grass and try to stop time so the summer would last longer.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. When I was a kid school started the Tuesday after Labor day and got out the second Friday in June. Like clock work. You got two weeks at Christmas and one at Spring break. Boom. Done.
    Around here it changes yearly. Partly because of snow days. One of the school districts locally missed so many days this year the kids didn’t get out until June 27th.
    Of course I can’t wait til the kids go back to school. I get to take mine all the fun places without the crowds. LOL

    Liked by 1 person

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