As a mom of a 2-year-old, I thought I'd have a few more years until my daughter went to school. It turns out she's ready, but I'm not sure I am. I found a preschool in my neighborhood that accepts kids as young as 2 1/2 years old so I figured this would be a good stepping-stone for her, especially with the arrival of my second child early next month.
This will be our first first day of school. And even though it's only two hours twice a week, there are so many thoughts cluttering my mind. How will she adjust? Will she miss me? Will she listen to the teacher? As the child of a working mom, my daughter, Maggie, is used to being in the care of others, and has also attended "mommy and me" classes with me, but I'm not quite sure she fully understands that I won't be there with her.
So I did what most moms do. I planned her first-day-of-school outfit. I figured out where I'd take her picture in front of the house. I let her pick out a backpack, and made sure I packed it with a special picture we colored together. We read books about the first day of school, and I've been giving her more hugs and kisses than usual leading up to her first day.
"Mommy always comes back," she tells me when I leave for work, something I hope she remembers as we walk into her classroom. But it's not her I'm worried about -- it's me. My husband already placed bets on who will shed more tears, and it's not the toddler! -- Jennifer Berger
School’s getting real this year for my 9-year-old. Everyone says the whole game changes in the fifth grade. Teachers don’t coddle, the work gets more intense, and there are real consequences when behavior goes awry.
I’ve hinted at this in moments of frustration, such as when he doesn’t feel like doing homework or rushes through it in his lust for more recreational activities. “Fifth grade is going to be much tougher — you better get on the ball, Harrison!” I have said. (Yes, I know I’m subtle.)
But I decided to change my game this first-day-of-school season. Instead of playing “Scared Straight!” with him, I have given him another assignment entirely. He’s not only stepping up, he’s starting intermediate school.
“Do your best, but make lots of new friends — nice ones — every day,” I have been telling him. “And I’ll set up all the play dates you could possibly ask for.”
It’s my big kiss as I send him on his way. -- Valerie Kellogg
This year marks my 17-year-old son's LAST First Day of School.
As he starts his senior year of high school, I'll take the last first day of school picture. It'll be the final time I get to see what he's chosen to wear, get to wave him off to the bus stop, get to hear, when he gets home, who was in his classes and actually know the kids he's mentioning.
I want to stop the clock. -- Beth Whitehouse