By Laura Moore

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Call me cheesy, nerdy or media-gullible, but I love everything about watching the best of _____(insert year) shows. 

I love the satisfaction of progress and the reminder of how much work we still have to do. 

I love getting the chance to re-experience the ah-ahs, the wow, I can't believe that happened THIS year moments.

I love watching highlight reels, reliving championships, and re-watching underdogs claw their way out of holes.

And I treasure the time each show gives us to reflect, to review our own lessons and to bring our own closure so each of us can find a way to move forward. 

I'm not sure why I get so sentimental for that sort of thing, but I have a sneaking suspicion it's the segmentation I love. The fact we get years to begin with, and because we have years, we have clear cut boundaries starting and stopping them, ending one game and beginning a new one, turning the page to a brand new scorecard replete with lines and lines of chances, and roads and roads waiting for our feet to tread them. 

We get to wipe the slate clean, close nagging doors, and anticipate new adventures. We get to put bad years in boxes and decide--even if it seems absurd in the long run--that what ever happened is over as of December 31, and on January 1, life will start anew, draped in crisp white, and reeking of Sugar and Roses (well, maybe that's just for people living in football country).  

Because we have years, we get built in excuses to pause, to look back, to let go and to grow up and out and in.  We get the chance to revisit our starts and stops and allow them to give us hope and meaning and the strength to move on. We get a January 1 bursting with 364 more mornings just waiting to leak out.

And so, after a week of watching the best of 2014 shows, and feeling massively nostalgic for the year that made me a mom, I am ready to take on what comes next. I'm ready to embrace a 2015 that will be narrated by my son's first sentences (okay so maybe that's a bit hopeful) and decorated by the earth flying steadily under his feet, a year where my words will fill new pages and my heart will meet new people, a year where my family will embark on new adventures and undertake new challenges, a year where I will get 364 more days to bathe my family in love.

Happy 2015, everyone!


 
 

By Laura Moore

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Glancing at my social media pages this morning, I couldn't help but be inspired as I gazed at the beaming mugs of children posing for first day pictures, showing off spiffed up threads, eager grins and signs bearing the name of their teacher and the grade they are about to enter.

Those images always wet my eyes when I consider the significance of the moment they capture, when I think about what the next 186 school days will hold for the children smiling for the camera.

As those kids stand on their front porch, or in the hallway, or on the lawn of their school, each of them is hovering on the precipice of a new beginning, a new chance, a new set of rules, a new batch of challenges and a new well of opportunities. They are poised for adventure--for the next leg of their journey--toes propped and ready to carry them forward where they will engage in work and play that will help them build, rebuild, create and recreate.

Over 186 school days, they will embrace new skills as they learn how to assign words to ideas, manipulate numbers, ask questions, create beauty, generate sounds or connect their present to the past. And their experiences will press them to widen and deepen both their minds and their hearts each time they are called to unearth their sometimes sturdy, sometimes wavering, sometimes strangled conviction to stand up for what is right. They will grow through their experiences, they will learn the bounds of their own strength, and they will discover how courageous and powerful they are each time they make themselves vulnerable.

Though they certainly arrive with the baggage of previous years: an armful of mistakes, a handful of doubters, and a stretch of road littered with bumps, the fact remains that on this day, their slate is strikingly clean.  The grade card is clear, the sketchbook is blank, the pencils are full of graphite, the call lists and team rosters are empty and the possibilities are endless. When they stand for that picture, they have no idea who might cross their path, which future thoughts might fill them with wonder, or who they might become.  They have no idea which adventures will shape their hearts or which challenges will make them shine.  

All they know is that today is the beginning. The scary, exciting, highly anticipated beginning. The line in the sand, the start of the race, the dawn of a new chapter.  The date on the calendar they don't want to think about until it is finally here, waiting for them, begging for them to arrive.

But once it comes, they do too.

And so should we.

See, in my opinion, we should all arrive--figuratively, of course--and celebrate on the first day of school. Regardless of how many years have passed since we stood smiling on our front porch, once a year, we should all dig down deep and discover the same courage we ask our kids to find. In honor of them, we should open our arms and embrace our fears. We should hype up our hopes and wonder what's possible. We should set new goals, anticipate new joys, meet new people, inspire new dreams, explore new opportunities, defend justice, reset, re-begin and re-imagine.

Today, we should bare our teeth, hold up our chins, dance to our own little tune, swim within a fresh wave of optimism, and tell our feet to march forward, onward, upward toward a renewed, reinvigorated version of ourselves. Today, we should try--just like them--to learn how we can make the world just a little bit better, how we can sift through the injustice and sadness, the oppression, violence and despair, and push through to the other side.  How we can crack open our hearts, steady our voice, and brace our legs to stand up, to reach out, and to reach in.

Happy first day of school, everyone. Go get 'em.