I have three distinct memories from my first day of elementary school, way back in nineteen-hundred-and-seventy-one. (Doesn't it sound so ancient, when said that way?)
First: Mrs. Todd, the first grade teacher, was unusually tall and very thin. Freakishly so. It frightened me.
Second: The generations-old hardwood floor made the classroom smell like damp wood.
And finally: Some wise-ass pulled a chair out from under another kid as that kid was sitting down, causing the kid to crash to the hardwood floor into an embarrassing heap. That single move established his long-lasting reputation as the school bully.
So, when my wife and I took our daughter Griffyn to her first day of kindergarten today, I paid close attention to lots of things. No wood-like smell, damp or otherwise. The teacher didn't look oddly disproportionate. And no bullies, at least that I could detect.
My anxiety was reduced most, though, when Griffyn first sat down at her kindergarten table, and whispered sorta softly:
"This room makes me smile."
Keep smilin', hon.