You can never really be ready for school. You can be prepared, but, as many parents, teachers and students would attest, being prepared is a bit different than being ready.

And it is not just a matter of semantics.

You’d know the distinction when it hits you in the gut.

Preparedness, I have found, holds a certain degree of incertitude, the state of being where you know you have it down, but the butterflies in your stomach are still fluttering.

Readiness, on the other hand, is the moment of recklessness, of leaping forward into a challenge, with the confidence of faith, knowing that you’ve got this.

Preparedness and readiness have rarely been tested in the school system like they were on Monday, as the first day of school dawned on teachers, students and parents.

The pandemic predicament we’ve all been thrust into kept both preparedness and readiness into a state of suspension, as kids filled the school yard at West Cedar elementary around 8 in the morning.