Back to School 2018


By Don Lindsey

“Up in the morning and out to school, the teacher is teaching the golden rule…”

This opening line of one of my favorite Chuck Berry songs (titled “School Days”) has been playing in my head all week as we’ve started to wind up our back to school prep for the kids.  For their part, all three of my children have been grumbling and dreading the start of the school year as you would expect.  They’ve enjoyed the summer break and are getting the most out of the remaining week that they have left of relaxation.  What’s surprising to me is that while most parents are ready for their kids to start back, I’m finding that I am not as excited.  I’ve enjoyed my time with the little parasites this summer and will miss their presence around the house during the day.

And while there is a lot of angst about starting school around my house, there is also a sense of excitement.  On Thursday, I took my daughter to pick up her laptop and get a glimpse of her new school.  She’s moving into middle school this year and is ready to get back to her friends.  After dropping off her laptop at the house, we ventured out to Wendy’s where we had a meal and talked about what she might expect now that she’s moving into the sixth grade.  It’s conversations such as these that make me torn between wanting my kids to stay kids while also being proud of the young adults that they are becoming.

On Friday, I got to walk down to Wekiva High School with my son Kyle who will be a freshman this year to pick up his laptop.  He seemed unfazed by the prospect of starting his first year of high school, but I couldn’t help but be a little bit excited for him.  We went at the perfect time and were able to get in and out.  After our walk back home, we got into the truck and drove to Wendy’s as I did with his sister the day before where we ran into one of Kyle’s oldest friends and his family.  As we all ate and talked, I paid attention to my son’s mannerisms and again felt that feeling of pride in Kyle for being the intelligent young man that he is. I also found myself wishing that he was the same inquisitive little 8-year-old that I met almost seven years ago.

Wanting them to stay little children seems to be a theme for me as of late.  Our oldest son will be starting his junior year and keeps amazing me more and more every year with how much he accomplishes while also dealing with Asperger’s syndrome.  With him turning 18 next month, I can’t figure out where the time has gone.

When I first came into the lives of my kids, I was told over and over that there wasn’t a manual for parenting.  You had to just figure it out as it happened.  I thought that meant discipline and tough conversations. Turns out it also meant trying to figure out how to let go of your child’s youth while also admiring who they are as people.  I’ve learned a lot about parenting through trial and error over the last few years and have a lot more to learn I’m sure.

The next lyric in the song I quoted at the beginning of this column is “American history and practical math, you study them hard, hoping to pass.”  While my children are learning school subjects this year, I’ll be trying to learn how to appreciate the present and focus on being grateful for the honor of being in the lives of these three wonderful souls.

Don Lindsey is a follower of Christ, son, husband, father, and a survivor.  Originally from Dayton Ohio, and resident of Apopka for six years, Don sees his life as a dedication to his wife, parents, children, and community.


  1. So soon, too soon, so very soon our children are no longer children. So soon, too soon, they leave home to start families of their own. So soon, too soon, so very soon. So soon, so very soon, they have families of their own. So soon, too soon we say farewell. So soon, altogether too soon… Chaz

    • Perfect choice of words to sum up my feelings of watching my kids grow. Thanks for the comment Chuck and God bless.


  2. Donnie, I wish I could be happy about school starting back up, but I am not. When school is in session, there are constant problems on our street, by the high school skippers, coming across the fence that runs parallel to the high school parking lot, and they cross through, or over the fence, go into the resident’s backyards, and hang out while the home’s residents are working. They usually wait until they see their good buddies drive down our street, that they called, and they run out really fast and hop in the cars and they are gone, off the get fast food, and then come back, and run through the resident’s yards once again, and head back with bags of food, across the high school parking lot, that is if they do come back at all. Yes, there are school resource officers at the high school, but they never catch them, on this street. I have called the APD to report them hanging out at the back of my neighbor’s home, while they are at work, and by the time the dispatch asks me a thousand questions, and the APD is sent, they are long gone, either hiding in the nearby woods,, or either have flagged down and caught a ride by their numerous good buddies in cars, heading down Martin St. I truly don’t think they want to catch those arrogant high school kids, skipping school, if you ask me, IMO, otherwise they would watch the parking lot more! I plan on writing the new principal of the high school a letter, so at least, he will know what they are up to. I bet your kids aren’t like that, Donnie, they probably were taught better, and taught respect, I am certain.

  3. Donnie, it has been really crappy for me the last few days. Thursday evening my ankle started hurting so badly I could hardly stand it. Friday, it was worse, and it hasn’t gotten any better since then. The thing of it is, I have not had any injury to my ankle, lately, and I have not twisted my ankle, bumped it, nothing……yet it is swollen,, and extremely tender, and I can’t hardly walk, period. Especially to put pressure down on it. I walk like a crippled person, since this ankle got inflamed, and now I am going to have to go see a foot doctor, this week sometime. I have a big bone spur on the back of my heel, but that is not it, I don’t think, as it has been there for years. I am mystified as to what has happened to my ankle, and then also, I found out my credit card had been compromised, and a bunch of big charges I didn’t charge, had been charged, and I had to call the credit card company to get it straightened out. I am not a happy camper right now. I told my husband, my ankle is actually making me physically sick, and I am not kidding.

  4. Dear Mama Mia, I am going to be lifting you up in prayer dear lady. I am so sorry that you are hurting. Dear God please bless this dear lady that we know as “Mama Mia”, You know her and you know what she needs. I know that you love her and are moved by her frustration. Help each of us to be what you call us to be. I love you Father and I ask this in Jesus’ blessed name. Amen

  5. Thank you very much for the needed prayers, Mr. Towne. Yes, I am definitely suffering, and hurting due to this unexplained swelling, and awful pain around my right outside ankle. I don’t understand it one bit either. I was fine on Thursday, and mowed a lot of grass with my husband. Later that evening, my ankle started hurting, but I could still walk normally. Friday it was worse, and today has been horrible. I have been able to hold onto everything in sight, and drag myself to the bathroom, but have cried out in pain, even the slightest pressure really is so painful. I broke an elbow years ago, and even as painful as that was for weeks, this is worse. I would have already been to the ER at the hospital, but even with good insurance they are just too high. I will try to get to an urgent care, or foot doctor ASAP, hopefully tomorrow, to see what is causing this horrible pain. It feels like the tendons and muscles are pulling away from the bone! I wish I could be carried, but I am too heavy, and old for that, not a little kid, anymore….Thanks once again, for your prayers, Mr. Towne, and for caring about Mama Mia.

  6. Thank you too very much for the prayers, Donnie. I appreciate the blessings from you and Mr. Towne more than you two will ever know.

  7. Mystery solved. I finally got an appointment to see a foot doctor today, and first he did an x-ray, and did not see any fractured bones, and that the heel bone spur I have had a long time, did not break off. He then probed around on my foot all over, and I was in real pain, and in tears. I told him I could not put weight on my foot, and that it was making me sick with pain. He did an ultrasound, and found the problem. His diagnosis was a spontaneous rupture of tendons, and other synovitis and tenosynovitis, right ankle and foot. He showed me on the ultrasound all the dark areas, was the swelling, and then he showed me exactly the tears of the tendons from the ruptures. He even said he hurt just looking at the ultrasound,, and that no wonder I was in such pain. I got a cortisone shot, pain pills, strong anti-inflammatory pills, and he wanted me to get a pneumatic walking air boot. That thing was $ 396.00! Insurance paid some, but I still had to pay $155.86 my part! It has a turn valve that you turn it one way and it inflates, and it is really heavy, and he put me in a compression sock to wear with it. I had broken a toe before, and had a light boot then, and it was $40.00 and I thought that was high, but this thing has helped, and I can boot scoot around with it on, without crying out in agony! It probably is the cortisone shot that has really helped. I don’t like them, but sometimes they are necessary. I have to go back to him before the month is up, and I don’t know how long it will take to heal. The boot really does help, but the price is awful! I have gotten a new respect for people with their walking and foot problems, even though I have had my share of things that go wrong with my feet.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here