Yesterday was our last day of summer.
It was a full day with football…
and even a birthday (DudeDad turned 39)…
The weather wasn’t a total jerk and we spent the day enjoying each other’s company in between bouts of them tattling and me yelling to stop it already because, IT’S THE LAST DAY OF SUMMER LET’S TRY NOT RUINING IT!
It was basically like every single other day of summer which means it was noisy, and exhausting, and perfect.
Today, unfortunately, is the first day of school.
Every year I imagine that when that big yellow bus rolls up to the curb I am going to be all…
Okay, so the chunky, unshowered, older, less agile version of this level of happiness.
But then, as I should expect based entirely on personal history and overall emotional instability when it comes to my children, before they even have their backpacks zipped up day of I’m all…
I just miss them so much. And hate to face the harsh reality of what each new school year really means: I am getting old they will be leaving me soon.
A fact I can’t even fully face in this post right now or I will have to put my head down on my computer and ugly cry like the angry baby their aging always turns me into.
Instead, let’s focus on something we can control –how good of a job we do at making this first day go off without a hitch.
As difficult as it was to get them all off to bed last night and convinced that really, truly when they wake up they would be heading back to school, I’ve vowed to make day one a good one.
That means no rushing, no yelling, no crying, no screaming, no fighting, and no forgetting your lunch money or your backpacks or your underwear. You laugh, but this is a real thing. My child has mistakenly gone to school sans undergarments on more than one occasion. The best part is that he is so used to spending time commando that he usually doesn’t notice until I point it out to him at bath time.
Getting the first day right will be epic.
How to Win The First Day of School
1. Get up early. I know, this one is gonna be a beast for everyone, but if you want to make sure your kids are on time and in gear, you have to make sure you have enough time to wash the ick out of your mouth and slam enough tumblers of coffee to ensure your own coherence. Get up and handle that before it’s time for them to join you and you will probably be a happier more patient person. Your kids (including the daughter you wish you had) will maybe even grace you with a smile or two before school!
2. Prep ahead. Lay out the clothing (including the underwear) and pack the backpacks the night before. Make lunch ahead if you’re cool with soggy bread life (I am not, so I am a day of lunch maker). Get everything that can be preemptively organized organized so there are fewer possibilities of forgetting something important on the day of.
3. Have a real talk about the first day. This is a particularly important tip if you are the mom to a worrier like I am. Dude 3 has a list of what ifs that need to be addresses and doing so the morning of is out of the question because AIN’T NOBODY GOT TIME FOR THAT. Instead we get to bed early, cuddle up, and he goes to town working my ear with his questions. I answer everything I can truthfully and make up the rest. I am sort of awesome at storytelling so it works.
4. Give yourself some extra time. By mid September we will be squeaking out all of the moments we can in the bed before school, but for the first week we like to make sure we have ample time to make getting ready seem like less of a chore. I wake them up 15 minutes earlier than necessary so they have some time on the backend to lounge around and get their minds right for the big day. They might even get crazy and brush their hair pretty if we move expeditiously enough.
5. Promise not to cry. It is a promise you may very well break, and that’s cool, but if you tell yourself you won’t do it, there is an ever so slightly greater chance that you won’t be all snotty nosed and puffy eyed when you meander to the bus stop or pull through the drop off line.