August 20: Then & Now: First Day of School

First day of school 2015. 3rd grade, 2nd grade, and Batman.

New time, new school, new teachers, new classmates. Hopefully a fresh start. 

Little bit of nerves, little behind schedule, little time needed to pack lunches. 

Not late, not too stressed, not wanting mom to embarrass with any more pictures.

Very handsome & pretty, very prepared, and very ready for school (on my part).

They are growing up!

And this was then...

Clayton (2nd), Ruby (1st), 8/21/2014
Wanted to include some thoughts from these posts for a trip down memory lane. Last year I was unprepared and in rare form. Actually, it's probably my normal form, I just happened to write it down:

Have I mentioned before that I'm the Mother of the Year? I think I may have once or twice.

Now that I have that title, though, I need to make sure I do my darndest to live up to it, you know? Let me just tell you, it's hard work. Grueling, tedious, hard work on my part. And we all know how I feel about that working hard stuff.

I wanted to write this post today for all of you out there who have ever looked at me and thought, wow. I mean, just, WOW. She is so great. She's like, the best mom ever. Hence, Mother of the Year.

So let me just explain for a moment what the first day of school looks like when you're the Mother of the Year. We shall start at the beginning:
  1. Be in complete denial that school is actually starting and prepare accordingly, including sleeping in until after 8am all summer.
  2. Wait until the day before school to get school shoes for your daughter. Smile through clenched teeth as she picks out the most expensive pair, because all the cute "sale" shoes are practically nonexistent.
  3. Tell your son that his shoes from last year are still good. But don't check the size or make sure they still fit before leaving the shoe store. Leave that to chance in the morning.
  4. Assume that all their uniform clothes are in good condition and still fit, but don't bother to look at them or have the kids try them on. They have the adjustable waistbands, right? We can just let those suckers out if need be.
  5. Have the children set out their uniforms the night before school. This is easy, as the uniforms are still sitting in a messy pile on top of the dresser from last school year because you never "packed them up" for the summer.
  6. Pack their lunches the night before, even though the peanut butter and jelly sandwiches will get soggy. You only do this at your husbands request, as he knows your Mother of the Year tendencies in the morning. On your own, however, you wouldn't have bothered with such frivolities.
  7. Finally fill out all the school forms the night before after the children have gone to bed. Lament over the fact that mothers have homework before school even starts and the fact that you don't have a glass of wine to sip while filling out said papers.
  8. Don't include Emergency Medical Forms in the stack of papers to turn in because you misplaced them. In May. And also, you never scheduled a physical for the kids so the doctor's office could fill out the form. So even if you did find it, you still couldn't turn it in yet.
  9. Stay up way too late watching mindless television so that you push the snooze button when your alarm goes off. Twice.
  10. Even though you had lunches made already, clothes laid out the night before, and a sweet husband who made breakfast, you still manage to leave about 15 minutes late. But not before you grab your coffee mug and snap the obligatory "first day of school" photo. Priorities, you know.
  11. The first day of school photo doesn't have any coordinating chalkboard signs or pictures with mom and dad or the family, however. That would've involved something they call "preparation" and "timeliness." It was more of a "quick stand by the door, now run to the car! We're late!" kind of picture.
  12. Make sure to get completely stressed out as you're hurrying everyone to the car, like it's totally their fault you're leaving so late. Yell at your son who isn't buckled up yet.
  13. Although you remembered the construction zone on the way to school, you didn't take into account the traffic jam it would create from the morning commute. That would just make too much sense. So you come to a standstill quite a ways from school. You need to be there in 4 minutes.
  14. At this point, apologize to your children, as it's obvious that they are going to be late on their first day of school. Explain to them that it takes pure, raw talent to manage to be late on the first day of school, and that somewhere deep down, they should be very proud to have you as a mom.
  15. Traffic turns into a detour situation, taking you even farther from the route to school. But never fear--you brought your coffee! You can sit and sip it peacefully while you maneuver through traffic.
  16. Finally arrive at school and sign them in 10 minutes late. Although it doesn't escape you that you left your house 15 minutes late, mark TRAFFIC as the reason for tardiness. There was, in fact, TRAFFIC. Lots of traffic.
  17. Promise your children as you are walking them to class that you will do better tomorrow, kiss and hug them, and send them on their way.
  18. Breathe a sigh of relief. Not only did you succeed in getting them to school, but you managed to live up to your title in the process.

And after all that, I'm exhausted. Like I said, being Mother of the Year is hard work. 

Now, if you weren't able to live up to this unbelievably high standard on the first day of school, please, don't beat yourself up. Sometimes achieving Mother of the Year status happens overnight, and other times, it requires lots of hard work, time, and dedication to the cause.

So seriously, relax. You have the entire school year to get it right.

Here's to the pick-up lines, the homework routine, the earlier bedtimes, and all you other Mothers of the Year out there… and to better tomorrows.


And Happy First Day of School to ya.

Clayton (1st), Ruby (K), 8/20/2013
"The first day of school was a success for all!! They both went right into their classrooms without any hesitation or complaint, and I walked out feeling a little sad about that in a way... I wanted to linger at the door, especially Ruby's, to make sure she found her seat, that she looked okay, that she was smiling and enjoying herself... But I didn't. I kept walking. They both loved their teachers and went on and on about all the good things in their day. They saw each other at lunch and a couple other times, too. I think this will be a good year for them. One down, many more to go."