The first week of school was always a big deal when I was a kid. Preparations before hand were very exciting. I had fun with everything from buying school supplies to picking out the perfect outfit. The night before the first day, I'd go to sleep early with butterflies in my stomach and wake up ,the next morning, with the same feeling. I wanted to see my friends, meet my new teacher and them all about my awesome summer.
I remember standing with my brother in front of our piano as my mom snapped pictures with her 35mm camera. It drove us crazy but I'm grateful that she captured the memories. As a parent I get to relive the same moments through my children.
When Marley started Pre-K, I knew that I had to start a similar tradition I wanted to make sure that she'd feel what I feel as I look back on my first days.
Days before the first day, a co-worker asked me if I'd made a sign.
Me: A what?
Co-worker: A sign for the kids to hold up when they take their first day pictures.
Me: Wait, is that how this works?
Co-worker: Yes, you have to make a sign every year.
Me: Oh shit...I'm a horrible mother. I had no idea and school starts tomorrow. It's going to be a late night.
After the girls were tucked in, I sat at the dining room table with their arts and crafts bucket. I pulled out the oaktag, markers, found some princess stickers and started decorating. When I was finally done with Marley's, I remembered that I had two children. There was no way Maya was going to let me get away with not making her a sign. That night, I enrolled her into Nanny School. She was excited until she realized that Nanny School was actually Nanny's house. At the of the summer, however, she graduated from Nanny School with flying colors.
Year two, I was proud of myself because I was prepared a head of time. Well, at least I thought I was. Supplies were bought and first day outfits picked out weeks in advance. I was ready to relax until I realized that I forgot the damn signs. Once again, I sat at my dining room table with the arts and crafts bucket. I was nervous. They were older now and had opinions and preferences. I seriously thought, "they'll probably hate whatever I make. I'm risking a shitty morning because a shitty sign may set them off." As I began pulling supplies out of the bucket, Franks walks into the dining room:
Frank: What's going on?
Me: I forgot to make the signs for tomorrow
Frank: Damn, good luck.
Me: You're Mr. Arts and Crafts, come help me.
Frank: What'd you do with last year's signs?
Me: I think they might be in the keepsake box.
Frank: Why don't you just reuse them?
So we pulled out last year's signs and updated them. I decided from that moment on I wouldn't make another "First Day of School" sign for Marley or Maya. How awesome is going to be when I stick on index card that says 'Grad School'