Every month, us “Tommy Mommies” will share around a different topic that’s important to us at that time; this month we’re each discussing …Back to School! Whether you’ve just sent your last child off to college, put a child in pre-school for the first time, or are still at this moment debating whether public, private or homeschool is the right choice for you, I think you’ll learn a lot from what everyone has to share in the coming days…
Today marked the last FIRST day of Kindergarten for me.
I know – I was a little confused when I heard it too. But as I was driving both my kids to their first day of school, I received a call from one of my closest friends here in Nashville. As I was debating whether or not to rush meet her at the gym after dropping my kids off at school, she chimed in and said, “Take the day off and take your time with them. After all, this is your last first day of Kindergarten.”
Whoa. I hadn’t gotten teary until I heard that. Yes, it’s true; this is the first year where I will have both of my kids in school full time, leaving me five days a week with free time for myself. (Well, “free time” may be a bit misleading; I’m pretty sure I’ve already planned for every second!) But I didn’t consider that this was the last time that I’d be going through this end-of-summer ritual.
It also made me realize that I’d been so focused about helping my youngest count down to his first day of Kindergarten, that I’d failed to help prepare him for the year ahead of him. It’s kind of like focusing so much on your wedding day and forgetting to prepare for the years of marriage ahead of you..not that any of us are guilty of that either…but you know what I mean, right?
We get so focused on a singular event that we fail to plan for the journey beyond that moment. All of a sudden, the next 13 years of school flashed before my eyes:
Will he make the right friends?
Is he ready for after-school activities?
Will he stay here for high school?
When do we have to start applying for college?
I snapped out of my whirlwind just in time to answer my son, “Mom, what am I having for snack today?”
Oh right. Snack. Rest hour. Center time. Phew! We were still in Kindergarten. I still had plenty of time to plan for the years ahead, but for now I needed to help him with really important things like how to build a rock garden, going down the slide feet first and peeling a banana without squishing it. It was in between those times that I would also slip in life skills like focusing, patience, kindness, gratitude, selflessness and most importantly, love.
I was back on track! We were enjoying the moment for what it was…until he got home from school that first day and said, “Mom, I want to stay in Kindergarten forever! <contemplative pause> Oh wait, I forgot, I have to go to college!” Here we go again…
This article originally appeared on RootedFamily.com