The First Day
The day I thought I had dreaded since knowing that Tatum was my last and would one day walk through the door of a kindergarten classroom has come and gone. And I didn't shed a tear. It's actually kind of ... nice. Of course, I'm only about 48 hours into this whole new phase of my life, but so far, so good.
We have many traditions we celebrate before school starts that help to build excitement for the new year (and soften the blow of summer ending). Here's what we do:
The girls don't really enjoy school clothes shopping but like to try them on at home, so last year we established "The First Outfit Fashion Show". I lay out all their new clothes with matching accessories, they decide which ones they want to model for Tye and I, and we have a fun fashion show. I get to see how the clothes fit on them and we help them decide their best look for the first day of school. Dad's opinion carries a lot of weight.
Next, we make the traditional snickerdoodles for teacher gifts and for a snack after they get home on the first day when I make them recount their entire day to me from beginning to end. It eases the torture a little bit. Then we go up to their school (this year we had 2 campuses to visit!) and say a prayer together, asking for blessings throughout the year and praying for protection while they are away from home. We've done this since Ava started 6 years ago, and it just gives me a greater sense of peace watching them walk into school each morning. God has been so faithful in granting our requests each year, and we won't ever skip this important tradition. Finally, I buy a charm for each school-goer that represents their grade and I present it to her when she comes home. It got a lot more expensive this year with all 3, but one day they will hopefully have a bracelet full of charms that they will remember and cherish. This year's selections held specific meanings for each recipient and were:
Tatum was ecstatic on the first day of school. She was up at the crack of dawn, raring to go. At breakfast, her teeth were chattering she was so excited. There were a few moments of hesitation here and there, but when I finally left her in the care of her awesome, fun kinder teacher, she was sitting at her table coloring her Snow White picture like it was her job.