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I’ve been blessed with a lot of good ‘first days’

Something momentous happened in our family Wednesday.

My youngest daughter called to let me know it had been her final first day of school.

And I was glad to hear all had gone well.

As a senior at Mississippi State University, she is on track to graduate in May, and unless she takes after hubby and decides to seek further education, Wednesday was it.

At this stage of the ballgame, it would have probably been silly if I had been there snapping a picture of this moment in time, but hopefully with that fancy cell phone we gave her at Christmas she took a selfie to record it.

Thinking back, I realize with four children I have lived through a lot of first days of school and all that it entails.

There were the sweaty palms, stomach butterflies and racing heart.

And I think the children might have been a little nervous too.

In making sure the special day went off without a hitch, hours were spent shopping for new shoes and the “just right” book bags.

Then there were the school lists with Kleenex and paper towels, and all the PTO fees and volunteer sign-up sheets.

I’m getting tired just thinking about it.

So why is it that the “first” day of school is so important?

It’s because something new is about to begin, not only for children, but for parents too.

For the little ones, it might mean the first time away from mom and dad, and for the moms and dads, it might mean the first time they are away from their little ones.

The first day of school is also a time when students are introduced to a new teacher, and although this might cause a little anxiousness for the chhildren, it can also affect the parents.

A teacher plays a large role in our child’s life.

In fact, in some cases, students might spend more awake time with their teachers than with their parents.

The first day of school can also bring about new rules and responsibilities, especially with each advancing grade.

I remember as I got older, recesses grew shorter, homework increased and relying on my parents for help was limited.

The first day of school also means a student is getting one step closer to their goal.

The preschoolers look forward to big school, elementary age children can’t wait for junior high, and high school students have their diploma in sight.

For those like my youngest daughter, who is nearing her college graduation, this can often mean the launch of a career and the beginning of life outside the family home.

Wednesday marked the last of a first for me, as well as being serendipitous.

It’s been a long time since I experienced the original first day of school with my first child.

However, I remember it like it was yesterday.

I stood at the curb with camera in hand with the rest of the neighborhood parents and waited for the bus to drive up.

As it approached, my little kindergartner stood in line behind the other children on the street as they boarded, holding her red and blue nap mat.  

When the doors on the bus closed and she had taken her seat, we waved goodbye to one another.

I don’t think I got much done that day wondering how she was doing.

When the bus returned that afternoon, once again I was outside waiting and when she jumped off with a smile on her face, I knew it had been a first good day of school.

Terri Cowart Frazier is a staff writer for The Vicksburg Post. She can be reached at terri.frazier@vicksburgpost.com.

About Terri Cowart Frazier

Terri Frazier was born in Cleveland. Shortly afterward, the family moved to Vicksburg. She is a part-time reporter at The Vicksburg Post and is the editor of the Vicksburg Living Magazine, which has been awarded First Place by the Mississippi Press Association. She has also been the recipient of a First Place award in the MPA’s Better Newspaper Contest’s editorial division for the “Best Feature Story.”

Terri graduated from Warren Central High School and Mississippi State University where she received a bachelor’s degree in communications with an emphasis in public relations.

Prior to coming to work at The Post a little more than 10 years ago, she did some freelancing at the Jackson Free Press. But for most of her life, she enjoyed being a full-time stay at home mom.

Terri is a member of the Crawford Street United Methodist Church. She is a lifetime member of the Vicksburg Junior Auxiliary and is a past member of the Sampler Antique Club and Town and Country Garden Club. She is married to Dr. Walter Frazier.

“From staying informed with local governmental issues to hearing the stories of its people, a hometown newspaper is vital to a community. I have felt privileged to be part of a dedicated team at The Post throughout my tenure and hope that with theirs and with local support, I will be able to continue to grow and hone in on my skills as I help share the stories in Vicksburg. When asked what I like most about my job, my answer is always ‘the people.’

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