This morning I found myself deep in thought. Today marks the first day of school and for many kids…and moms…it’s a big day. I couldn’t help but think about how I will feel on this day next year when my son starts Pre-K. I'm guessing it won't be the best night's sleep with so much anticipation for the morning ahead. I can already see myself packing and repacking school supplies until at least 2am while debating what I will create for the perfect lunch. As it was in my day, I'm imaging the school uniform policy to be a blessing from heaven and I see my future self trying to impart every inch of wisdom my son can soak up before heading out for the big day.
In between these harried moments, I will do my best to play it cool. There are 2 things I hear moms talking about. The first is the backpack. The second is the superior and almighty lunch box. All the other details seem ancillary to this lunch box that must not only froth with depth and meaning, but have the ability to provide a glimpse Evan's huge personality. That’s a lot of pressure to put on a lunch box!
Speaking of pressure, the carefully curated contents of that (most likely Hotwheels themed) lunchbox are to be a source of comfort and support for my son. Packed securely with organic yogurt, fruit, cheddar bunnies and a sandwich, this meal would be a little home away from home for him.
I know for certain that I will survive and my son, like so many who have traveled this path before him, will thrive! By the end of the first week, all parties involved will have eased into their new routine. It is at this moment that mother’s everywhere can start to focus on how to take advantage of the new-found freedom that comes with children attending school full time. So, kick back, pour yourself another cup of coffee, and I’ll share a few reminders on the benefits of your children reaching school age:
- Do you remember books, those heavy things with words. Remember the sense of accomplishment you have when you turn the final page? You can read those again!
- That iPad your kids have occupied for the whole summer. IT’S YOURS…ALL YOURS! E-books, recipe hunting, Facebook, Angry Birds…have at it!
- You no longer have to navigate a car-shaped shopping cart with wobbly wheels through the grocery store while entertaining your children and dodging the cookie aisle. Do the shopping alone! Since I'm at work during the day I like to do the shopping after dinner and let my partner put the kids to sleep.
- Every woman need some alone time in the bathroom! What a concept! Have a hot soak or a long shower! Poke around in the shoe box you have in the cabinet under the sink. Have some fun watching a smokey eye makeup tutorial on YouTube.
Yes, we ache a bit as we watch our children grow up, but it’s good for them to know you have confidence in their ability to do so. And you deserve the opportunity to rediscover the person you were before motherhood so revel in this period of growth and freedom! From my standpoint, I feel very fortunate to learn from the experience of other moms who have children older than mine.
And back to that lunch box, one way you can help yourself and your children is to pack their lunches the night before and fill them with yummy, healthy foods. There are thousands of ideas on the web for delicious lunches and convenient lunch boxes. Bento boxes are all the rage and you can get healthy snacks delivered right to you. With your free time, maybe you could make some of these White Russian cupcakes? To all you trailblazing moms making this transition…good luck and remind me to dry my eyes and re-read this post next year!