It’s Go Time
It’s mere hours until the bus comes, until the first drop off in the first carline of the school year. Do you have all your supplies ready? You packed the pencils, right, and you’ve got the lanyard ready with the bus tag? There will be a nice volunteer (you should volunteer too, but not today, not if it’s your first bird to leave the nest) to help these little guys get to where they need to be.
Whether they are 5 years old and still have a face full of baby teeth or whether they are 5’ 5" and walk with the swagger of a kid that has feet that feel way too big, they are still your baby, right, and you are still sending them into the big world without you. Here’s what I know for sure:
1. They will be fine. Like, fine. Every classroom teacher worth their salt is looking for the quivering lips and the nervous glances and those teachers are right there to make sure that their little birds are okay. I promise you this.
2. A thank you email to the teacher for helping your chick have a great first day is always appreciated.
3. Don’t ask “how was your day?” Your child will say “fine” or “boring” or “lame” or “great” and that is the end of that. Instead, ask questions that have longer answers - who did you sit with at lunch, and did anyone sit alone? Did you meet any new classmates today that you never met before? What is the funniest thing that happened today? Did you laugh today? What could make your tomorrow better?
4. Find out if there is anything you need to follow up with after Day One. And then serve their favorite dinner and let them watch TV because the first day of school has all the dials turned to 11 and they just need to breathe deeply and relax on their own for a while.
5. Hover, but not too closely. Be available, but not oppressive. It’s a ballet of availability and you are the prima ballerina, dancing ever so closely but yet flitting away at a moment’s notice.
6. Pat yourself on the back and treat yourself to a good cry in the parking lot, a long coffee with a friend, a manicure or even just an extra 15 minutes with your novel. You survived COVID Summer #2, and you sent your kid(s) back to school with grace and aplomb. You modeled good behavior like following the rules set by the Governor, and NOT the school board, and you did so knowing that sometimes the rules don’t make sense but they are still the rules and we still have to follow them.
7. Seriously, they will be fine. And so will you.
Good luck and Godspeed to us all, as we begin the 2021-22 school year. We’re going to need it.