On the Mayor's Mind: First day of school

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Shoreline Mayor Chris Roberts
By Shoreline Mayor Chris Roberts

For hundreds of parents across the Shoreline School District, September 7, is the first day of school for their kindergartener. Kindergarten marks a new chapter for both the student and the parent.

As the parent of an incoming Kindergartener, I watched my son be simultaneously excited for school and full of nervous energy and apprehension about the first day. He knows that things will be different with new classmates, new teachers, and we have done our best to help explain that expectations may be different as well.

I am unsure how I will feel as I drop him off for his first day. I am proud of my son, and what he has learned over the past several years. I know he is ready for Kindergarten and that he will enjoy every minute of school. At the same time, I am feeling a little sad, as part of me just wants to hold onto the baby I fell in love with the moment he was born. I enjoyed the flexibility to take him to Paramount School Park on a sunny morning or down to the Zoo or the Pacific Science Center where he loves to visit the butterflies. Now our lives will be more dictated by the school calendar, as new terms and events have entered our vocabulary: “Early Release Day,” “Curriculum Night,” and “Bike-O-Thon.”

This upcoming milestone brought back to my mind the Adam Sandler movie, “Click.” Not the best movie I ever saw, but the movie involves Sandler’s character possessing a remote control for their lives. Instead of fast-forwarding like the character, part of me would want to replay the moments of my son’s infancy and toddlerhood.

Alas, life goes in one direction - forward. Change is the only constant.

Across Shoreline and Lake Forest Park, our schools are preparing for a new cohort of students, our businesses will hire new workers, and new people will call our cities home. In each case, they will bring their own perspectives and values into our communities, reinvigorating our neighborhoods, and challenging teachers, managers, and community leaders to rise up to address their issues.

I may not know what challenges we will face in this new chapter. Instead of trying to hit rewind, or hit pause, as a Dad I am excited to greet the new day, and walk hand in hand with my son through the classroom doors on the first day of school. As your mayor, I am looking forward to celebrating successes and working hard, hand in hand with Shoreline residents, to meet our city’s challenges.


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