In case you didn’t hear me shouting from the rooftops, my wild child Simon went off to school for his first day of kindergarten this week.
I’m not sure who was more excited. Me or him.
We’ve talked about it for months. He’s watched Miles and Alice get on the bus without him for years. He took a test ride on the bus and took a tour of the school and got to meet his teacher. (I wished her luck and told her to call me.)
And when the day finally arrived, he was SO READY.
We were all awakened at 5 am by a raging thunderstorm – a final and official warning to all of his teachers and classmates – SIMON IS COMING TO SCHOOL!
He spent the morning trying to get used to his new school routine (which involved actually getting dressed AND wearing underwear.) He then practiced giving himself wedgies “just in case anyone messes with me.”
And as it was getting time for the bus to come, we did all the usual first day of school stuff. We took pictures, and hugged, and he jumped up and down in excitement.
And then the bus was pulling up and Miles and Alice were dragging him towards the end of the driveway.
He was all joy and excitement, but there was one small moment of hesitation when he reached back and gave me the tightest hug ever.
Before I knew it, he was home again, and I’ve never had a child more excited to tell me about their day.
“You know how you said that the first day would be a ‘piece of cake?’ You were totally right! It was a piece of cake!
I got called down to the principal’s office zero times and my teacher only had to remind me to use my walking feet five times! IT WAS EPIC.
Oh, and the very best part was that I got to draw a picture of a blue Power Ranger.”
I have questions that I usually ask my kids after school to get them talking (you can see them all here), so I started using a few of them on him.
In all of my years of asking his older siblings, Simon was the only one that could answer this question – and he didn’t even think it strange that I asked.
ME: Simon, what color were your teacher’s shoes?
SIMON: Beige. Did I tell you about the picture I drew of a blue Power Ranger? It was so cool!
After 10 minutes of telling me about his day, he was sound asleep in his pajamas at the bottom of the stairs and stayed that way until dinner.
Day two was even better than day one according to Simon, and I have no doubt that his days will continue to be “epic” – because pretty much every day in Simon’s life is epic. (In case you didn’t know.)
Making Space for Conversation
With my mom being a counselor, my entire childhood was full of space for conversation.
There were car rides without music and time spent baking at the kitchen counter without any other distractions. Just her, me and the cookie dough.
With three kids and a full-time job, I’ve seen firsthand how easy it is to NOT make space for conversation. I’ll think I’m modeling my mom, and then I’ll realize that I’ve been taking pictures for instagram while we’re supposed to be baking together. Or I’ll realize that my kids have been talking to me while I’ve been thinking about something else entirely.
Making space for conversation and being a present parent is something that I continually practice.
My kids need conversation the most when they get home from school. They’re starving. They’re tired. Sometimes they’ve been bottling things up all day, and they need to get it out.
So I make space.
In the first hour after school, I put my phone and computer away. I might fold clothes or work in the kitchen, but my kids know that I am available whenever they’re ready to talk. Oftentimes I get the conversation started by asking a few questions.
My goal is to get them used to talking about the little things now (like the picture they drew of a blue Power Ranger), so they’ll come to me with the big stuff later on.
Being a Present Parent with Responsibility.org
I’m thrilled to be a #TalkEarly blogger with Responsibility.org. They’re all about starting conversations with our kids and being a present parent. While their mission is to promote responsible decision-making regarding alcohol, they’re about so much more than that.
And if you want more back-to-school tips, be sure to download the FREE Back-to-School Handbook!
- The 10-minute tech hack that saves me hours of anxiety every school year.
- My morning secret that helps us all get out the door faster (and why no one in my house has missed the bus EVER.)
- How I manage to work full time and always have food in the house for dinner.
- How I simplified school lunches.
Plus so much more – like how I get my kids talking after school and how I finally conquered the back-to-school paperwork and clutter!
If you have kids heading off to school soon, you won’t want to miss this free handbook.
Wishing you all the best as you head back to school! This post is sponsored. All opinions are my own.