One day of the year is full of genuine hope.
Itís not January first. Sure, we resolve to quit smoking, get more exercise and eat right at the start of the New Year. But we know weíll break those rules before the month is over. Itís hard to stay hopeful in winter.
But on the first day of school, hope seems real.
This is when we say, "This year, I will get along with my teacher. I will finish my homework on time. I will not let Brenda, the mean girl with the stupid hair, get to me.
Harold, the big bully, will not beat me up on the way home. I wonít care if my mom picks me up at school wearing a dumb knit hat. Sheís my mom.
I will get good grades in every subject, even math.
Iím starting this school year with new shoes, a new haircut and a new attitude.
All the old problems seem erased, like a freshly washed blackboard.
This school year will be different".
Never mind these hopes will be dead by November. The first day of school, itís easy to believe in new beginnings. The crisp fall air sharpens the senses and puts spring in the step. Everything seems possible Ė more possible than the resolutions we make on New Yearís Eve.
Maybe because we donít start the school year with a hangover.
(The opinions expressed are not necessarily those of St. Louis Public Radio.)
Elaine Viets is a freelance writer.