It’s the first day of school for a lot of the smalls around here. I miss those days, new clothes, a ribbon in her hair, a backpack almost as big as she is, the time has passed so quickly. I always thought I would be a stay at home Mom, I wanted nothing more than to raise my children, myself, not have to send them off to daycare every day, but as a single mom that just wasn’t possible.
It made me sad that there were so many things I had to miss out on, including before and after school time. I tried to develop traditions that would make those first days special, even if I wasn’t home to celebrate them.
I was lucky enough to be able to go to work late on the first day of school, so I always walked Hailey or drove her or walked to the bus stop with her. I wished I could have done it every day but at least I got to do it the first day. I also made a special breakfast, the rest of the year it would be fend for yourself at breakfast time because I would already be at work. The first day of school I made her favorite breakfast, even though she was usually too excited and nervous to eat it.
We also packed her lunch together for the first day. Hailey liked to buy her lunch but the first day, while she was still figuring out how things worked she could eat her lunch and see how the lunch line worked. There was also always a note I snuck in there when she wasn’t looking.
The day before the first day of school we would bake cookies, then when Hailey came home on the first day she could grab some cookies, a glass of milk and call me to tell me all about it.
Our children are small for such a short time, I think it’s important that we make the effort to celebrate with them, even if we can’t physically be there, so they know how important they are to us and how proud we are of them.
After the first day I would still occasionally do something special, like make muffins after Hailey went to bed so she could have them for breakfast, or leave a note on the bathroom mirror for her to see when she woke up. These things take a moment but our kids will remember them forever, even if we couldn’t be there.