20 May

Sounds of youthful yelling, laughing and running around the neighborhood have ceased, traffic is buzzing, and social media is eerily silent during the day. This can only mean one thing …. a new school year is in session! Social media popularity has taken First Day of School photo rituals to a whole new level. Viewing all of the pictures, I can’t help but feel a bit nostalgic reminiscing about my own kids’ and their “first day of school moments”. Sitting here at my computer (yes, a real computer, not a phone), thousands of memories flood my mind and appear as a time warp of sorts, somewhere between yesterday and eternity. Some of the things I miss:

  • School clothes shopping.
  • The giddiness of the household the night before school starts.
  • My own ritual of swearing that THIS would be my year of organization! Clothes laid out the night before, backpacks ready and lunches packed.  (Unfortunately, my goals would dissipate within three days, on a good year.)
  • Dropping them off at the door and getting fantastic hugs and one last "I Love You”, as my eager kiddos would take their seasonal first steps into another new adventure.
  • Standing in the hallway of the school to pick up my little ones and chatting with other parents and grandparents.  
  • Anxiously waiting to hear about their first day.

And yes, there things I do NOT miss:

  • Mounds of first day paperwork signing.
  • Arguments when the daughter takes an hour in the one bathroom.
  • Budget drains attributed to Free public-school education.
  • Band, sports and curriculum conflicts.
  • Hectic schedules.
  • Homework, homework, homework.
  • Parent/Teacher conferences.

As a card-carrying member of the Empty Nest Club, I want to remind young parents of a few things:

  • Pray with, and for your kids each day.
  • Struggles will pass.
  • Embrace each day...once it’s gone…it’s gone!
  • Savor those hugs and kisses.
  • Capture artwork memories by placing them on the frig, take a picture and preserve memories without the clutter.
  • Ask your kids about their day and REALLY listen.  (This will develop a habit that becomes valuable as they age.)
  • Never let a day go by without saying “I love you”!
  • Yell less, laugh more.
  • Quit worrying about the clutter and mess, accept it, and cherish what’s important.
  • Sit down to dinner together as often as possible.
  • Play board games, take away phones and turn off the TV.

Tip: Save and/or print your photos. In the event your favorite social media site disappears, a computer virus wipes your files or your handy dandy smart phone dies, your photos, along with your memories, will be gone...FOREVER!

Last but not least, always use caution when posting pictures on any social media site! Social media is a great way to share your photos, but it isn't private!

Have a safe and happy Back to School year! 

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