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Rookie season in school opens many, many doors

   The aisles are crowded - is everyone else looking for blue folders, red binders, crayons, red pens and hand sanitizer?

   And how about going to the store that's having a half-price sale on jeans, only to discover every other child must be the same size as yours, because there aren't any in the right size?

   Those are my back-to-school nightmares, making me think it would be a lot easier preparing for back-to-school without the kids!

   But when you're talking about going to kindergarten, it's a different story. The weeks leading up to the first day are exciting, as you do some things for the first time - and some for the last time.

   Amy Scharf made getting school supplies a fun outing for her children, Rachel and Rebekah. Rebekah is the experienced one, showing the ropes to her younger sister. Picking out supplies and clothes helps make it real for Mom and Rachel, who have spent the last five years together at home.

   They're working up to the first day of school, when Rachel will wave and step on the bus. It's not the new outfit and backpack that will make that day successful, but the support, love and experiences Mom and Dad have given through the years that have helped Rachel and her sister prepare for a lifetime of learning.

- Barbara O'Brien

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