The first day of a new school year is no exception.
I was 7 in this photo. It's the only photo of me that exists between the ages of 3 and 11.
On the first day of school at our house, there was no fanfare, no nice new clothes, no hearty breakfast, and no fancy packed lunch with a note inside.
My mom usually sent us on our way with a threat "you better get your ass out of this house! If you're late on the first day, there's gonna be hell to pay when you get home!" Of course she could only threaten us, if she was actually there to say it. On more than one occasion, she wasn't. First day of school and mom is missing in action.
So I'd leave the house with my county welfare supplied "lunch ticket" safely tucked into my "new" jeans. They weren't usually exactly new, but they were new to me. They usually came from the thrift store, or from some generous local family. Of course these jeans, "had better last all year," so my mom sewed double patches into the inside of the knees.
I know most kids have a lot of questions and what-ifs before the first day. My "what-ifs" were usually a little bit different than most kids. Mine consisted of things like "what if someone makes fun of my clothes?" "What if someone comments on my "welfare lunch?" "What if someone makes fun of how poor my family is?" "What if someone calls me white trash?"
It wasn't really a matter of "what if," it was a matter of who and when. My quandary was usually related to whether I would try to kick their ass during school, after school, or wait until I saw them away from school?