I woke up the other day and the air smelled different. We’d been experiencing some pretty hot weather in LA, but this particular morning I was enjoying the unusually lower than normal temperatures that accompanied the overcast sky.
I was immediately brought back to a feeling I experienced so many years ago. Do you remember those first days of school? The smell of new lunch boxes and notebooks? My mom used to buy each of us a new outfit to wear on the first day of school and I remember the way the new clothes smelled and felt. And the anticipation I experienced was palpable.
And suddenly, on this beautiful morning walk, I began to feel sad. And something else- an overwhelming feeling that is becoming more and more familiar lately- one of nostalgia. Nostalgia. It’s an interesting word. Defined as a sentimental longing or wistful affection for the past. Yeh- I can be very sentimental, for sure.
I find nostalgia bittersweet. I enjoy having the memories and the sensations, but they bring with them a keen awareness that they are forever gone. It reminds me that an experience I lived and felt is only a memory now.
And yet, even with the sadness, as I recall the memories, I still find myself with a smile on my face. It evokes a time that I find so precious. So joyful.
They say that we relive our own childhood as we witness our children in theirs. What a blessing it is that I get to have such remarkable experiences with my boys as I continue to recount my own. True, mine are long gone, but theirs are happening- right now!
This year we find ourselves in a particularly special situation: both of my boys are at the same school that is walking distance from our home. So as I walked my boys to school, I cherished every step. They humored me and allowed me the same picture I’ve taken for so many years. They’re growing up, for sure. But I am still there, every step of the way, soaking up the experience and tucking it away to my memory.
Here’s to a wonderful school year for kids and parents alike.