The First Day of School

This is the first day of school.

I will check their backpacks on a daily basis, and I will make efficient piles that I probably won’t look at again until past the deadline or when I receive my second notice.

I will read every email from any teacher, principal, administrator or parent coordinator at their school, and I will plan to sign up to bring meals on conference nights and cookies to parties, even though I probably will not follow through with those things, so it’s just better if I don’t respond in the first place.

I will align my Google Calendar with the School Calendar, complete with color coding and reminder alarms. This way we won’t miss picture day or field trips or – please, God help me – days when they don’t have to be there at all.

I will wash and fold laundry on a regular basis, so clean clothes will be available for the choosing, albeit bottlenecked in a no-man’s-land of laundry baskets.

I will offer healthy breakfast options. Or just breakfast options. Most of them will involve the freezer and the toaster.

I will use my time wisely while they are in school, and I will almost never go back home and go to bed.

I will be on time to pick them up, not scrambling up the sidewalk like a fish swimming upstream against the current of families who were punctual and retrieved their children in a timely manner.

I will have a time and space set for homework. I will not do their homework for them, even if this means their product will pale epically in comparison to other presentations completed by parents who are secretly repeating first and second grade on behalf of their very smart and capable children.

I will speak highly of the teachers, the staff, and the curriculum. Those who are unhappy will not come to me to trash talk, because I will always take the teacher’s side. Been there, done that, and will encourage every educator for the rest of my days.

I will delight in what my children learn.  I will be patient with skills that take longer to master.
I will not talk on my cell phone when I am picking them up or dropping them off, and I will smile and show my delight to see them again. Because hellos and goodbyes matter very much to me.

I will pray for their teachers, their classmates, their friends, and their decision makers. I will partner with the experts who are assigned to teach my children, and as a bonus, they seek to love them.

I will bring cookies, frosting, sprinkles, gift cards, pencils, thank you notes, compassion, grace, and joy.

This is the first day of school.

Tricia Lott Williford

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  1. I LOVE this post. It’s like you wrote down my thoughts from a few years ago!!!
    I suffered through severe panic attacks during most of my sons elementary years (my now 13-yr-old vaguely remembers when I was unable to drive him to school because of the anxiety and another adult would have to take over my responsibility. I do give myself kudos for at least being able to write and sign the late note 😉 ).
    Point is… Where I didn’t complete my checklist of things that would make me Super Mom is exactly the areas in which my son excels. I asked God to make good out of bad and I am seeing the answered prayers in abundance as he enters his last year of middle school. All of his before school “to-do” list (i.e. Summer Reading reports. Email notices/requests from teacher responses …) are finished and school starts next week. Other than a few inquiries as to what he had accomplished I did not assist him at all. He turns 14 this month and I do believe he will be able to survive when he leaves the nest in 5 years. Now that’s a great feeling for a momma!!!

  2. In my heart I am giving you “bouquets of sharpened pencils.” Enjoy your freedom today!

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