I LOVE back to school time.
Glitter and Sparkles kind of love.
I know many parents can’t wait to get their kids out of the house and get them back into school – the reasons are as varied as the families themselves…
I love back to school because I loved school.
I remember sleepless nights due to excitement before each new school year.
I couldn’t wait for the smell of chalk, that first mark with a brand spankin’ new freshly sharpened pencil and the anticipation of who you’d be sharing a table/desk space with … the sound of a book’s spine cracking for the first time still gives me chills.
I’m a bit of a nerd, I know.
I want my kids to share in my excitement and feel the same thrill of anticipation and joy at the beginning of each year.
Each new school year brings with it a world of possibilities and opportunities: for learning, for friendships, for growing into the person we are destined to be.
Every teacher who comes into my kids’ lives is one more person shaping their mind, expanding their world view, influencing them and helping them to see beyond their own front door.
This year, my daughter’s third grade teacher started their year off with a cake and candles on the first day of school.
A bit unusual and unorthodox, but after witnessing it … I know that she is exactly where she’s supposed to be.
I love teachers who are passionate about teaching, who do it for the love of teaching … who do it because it is their calling.
I am so grateful for those teachers.
Both of my kids are blessed with teachers like that this year and it brings tears of happiness to my eyes and causes my heart to do a little happy dance.
It’s because of teachers like them and the endless possibilities that each school year presents — that I go a bit silly for the first day of school.
My kids wake up and follow a trail of sparkly confetti through the house to a confetti covered table and two plates filled with school supplies and surprises and specially picked out cards that tell them how much I love them and my hopes for their year ahead.
I take the silly obligatory pictures on the fireplace so that we can see just how much they’ve grown over the year, I fix them special breakfasts and allow them faux-mosas in grown up glasses (because the first day of school deserves fanciness, dont-cha know) and I watch them stride into their classrooms filled with confidence and wonder and excitement and my heart bursts with pride and joy and happiness.
I’m not one to cry over the first day of school, it’s just not me… but their excitement lifts me and gives me hope.
One of my favorite First Day of School (and every school day thereafter) moments is when they hop in the car filled to the brim with stories and joy and MOMENTS that they can’t wait to share…
In that moment I ask each of them:
“Best Part of Today” and “What part of today would you like to change?”
It’s in that moment that I learn so much about my kids and who they’re becoming.
Do you have a First day of school ritual? I’d love to hear about it, because obviously I need something else to do to make the first day special 😉
Read more of Rachel Matthews’ writing about food, parenting, life and Texas at A Southern Fairytale
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