My daughter came to me the evening before her first day of 1st grade with a tummy ache. “You are just a little nervous,” I said. “Why are you nervous?”
“I’m just not ready,” she said. I know. I’m not either, I thought.
We had just come home from a 3 day getaway before school. We had the best time as a family of 5. We really enjoyed each other’s company. My husband and I turned off our phones. (Actually, mine died and I didn’t have a charger). Still, I “unplugged.” I could have found a charger but I decided that we would just “be.” It couldn’t have been better. No TV. Breakfast on the terrace overlooking the mountains. Swimming. Dinners. Sleeping in. Heaven.
Nobody was ready to come home and face real life. But, it was time to get ready.
I decided that she would take a bath; I would blow dry her hair, and we would pick out her outfit. I let her choose everything she wanted to wear (within reason). I talked about the butterflies that I would get every year for the first day of school too while she chose her necklace and dress. We hung her dres in front of her bed with her sparkle purse hanging from the hook. She started to perk up. Sometimes being prepared is half the battle.
Then, I wrote her a note. It said, “You are magic! You are beautiful and smart and you are ready for anything. We all love you.” I used all her favorite colors and left it on the table for her. When I got to my room, there was a note for me. It said, “Dear Mom, you make me ready for anything.”
I died a little. I cried a little. I felt so many emotions from this little note. Most of all, I kind of felt like I did my job. For once, I kind of felt like I did it well.
Gosh, there are so many ups and downs with parenting. It is so difficult to raise these little humans with their big human emotions and strong personalities. It takes a lot of patience and understanding. It takes so much guidance. I mean, I didn’t have time to think about the fact that my oldest is starting 1st grade. I didn’t have time to feel all that. It’s happening. And it is ok, because sometimes, we can get it right. We can make our children feel better. Really better. So much better that they are “ready for anything.”
She went to bed with big hugs and no more tummy ache. She felt ready.
Moms, school is starting and if I wish something for you, it is that your children are “ready for anything.” I hope you all have a wonderful year ahead. I hope it is filled with magical moments like this one.
I hope we can all hang our sparkle purses on the hook and tackle the day knowing there is always someone who loves us.
Happy School Year!
~Noreen Heffernan,Writer, MA in Public and Corporate Communications, Certified in PR Writer, Growing Ladies.