The First Day of School ~ Smile

School is Awesome!

School is Awesome!

August is upon us – for many in the US, it signals a time for school to start, or at least for the start of ‘back to school’ thoughts.  I know it brings mixed emotions for many parents – especially for their new ‘starters’ – letting your precious baby out into the world to fend for themselves.  It is often scary and exciting, and for many parents a feeling of sadness or remorse that their children are growing up.

I often hear some parents lament “I wish my child could stay a baby forever” – this makes me so sad to hear. Do you really want this for your child? Do you really want a 6 year old that is still a baby? I don’t want my baby to remain a baby.  I want to see him grow and thrive – reaching all the milestones along the road, no matter how long it takes.  My baby almost remained a baby forever – the thought of it makes my stomach churn.  We have had many struggles during the years, but with each accomplishment and all the hard work, I cheer him on.  When we didn’t know if he would reach any milestones, each one has given me joy and amazement.

On the first day of school, I admit, I did not weep. I did not regret the passing of his toddler years. I was so excited for him – I was so thankful that my child was alive, thriving, growing and able to go to school.  For some parents that does not happen – for some children, their milestones are very different; no less amazing and beautiful, but very different. These parents’ and children’s paths may be much more challenging – and I am sure that each time their child changes and shows growth these parents are beaming with joy.  They see growth, not as death of their child’s toddler days, but as promise of the continuation of their child’s life – however long it may be.

Send your child out into the world with joy and excitement. Think about how amazing they are and all the incredible things that they have yet to do.  There is nothing to mourn for on their first day of school.

About Rutabaga the Mercenary Researcher

I'm a research librarian for Public Television, story teller, bike commuter, baker, music fiend, lover of reading & books, mother, wife, friend - and many more descriptive adjectives and nouns.
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41 Responses to The First Day of School ~ Smile

  1. Oh, love it! True, so true. It does mark the passing of time…but like you, I rejoice in it.

  2. Maggie O'C says:

    What a darling boy!!! Great post. My girls are both in high school now. I thought that would perhaps make me sad or wistful but nope, I’m thrilled to see them plowing ahead and observe the people they are becoming.

  3. Rohan 7 Things says:

    This is so, so true! Not to take anything away from any other child, but we can’t help but cheer on each milestone of the children who escaped death at a very young age.

    It was such a big moment when my little brother turned 18, when every year, every event is like a bonus!

    Until the age of 8 he couldn’t eat anything sharp, even the edge of a french fry could choke him. 8 years was a big day, his childhood was filled with big days 🙂 And of course it would be great to think that everyone could have this kind of appreciation of the importance of life while it’s here 🙂

    Thanks for sharing, lovely post Denise!


    • Thanks Rohan – sounds like your brother has had quite a path filled with a lot of great accomplishments. And also a great older brother that cheered him on every step of the way. It’s got to be hard on siblings when there is a bro/sis that needs a little extra – but better for all when everyone is working together rather than feeling left out. It has to be a hard thing to balance as a parent – to make sure that no one feel neglected – and most of the time the parents are just trying to get thru some of the harder days much less having to work on all the regular stuff that happens during the day, if you know what I mean.

      Yes – exactly, it is all such a bonus when survival was the number one thing that was focused upon.

      People don’t realize how stressing it is to have issues with food as a small child – so much of our world is made up of food – eating out, eating at parties, eating with family, eating with friends…

      Thanks for your lovely comments!

      • Rohan 7 Things says:

        Yeah absolutely, though I wouldn’t wish it on anyone, a difficulty like that has a way of really bringing everyone together, you know?

        Yeah, I can’t imagine what it would be like from a parents perspective, whew! I think my folks did remarkably well considering!

        Haha, yeah I know! Sometimes I’m with parents and young kids that have no food issues and I have to stop myself from diving over and knocking a “choke hazard” out of their little hands on it’s way to their mouth lol.

        Alex is making up for it now though haha, he loves cooking, he’s the house chef 🙂


  4. The Hook says:

    A beautiful piece from a beautiful soul.

  5. stephrogers says:

    Yes I agree with you. I still cried after I left my kids at school that first day, but mostly because I just missed them so much! We weren’t used to being apart from one another. I think it was harder on me because while they were out experiencing life I was sitting at home with the younger kids staring at their empty chair! But I was happy for them and very proud.

  6. unfetteredbs says:

    Great thoughts shared in your post and in the comments. Timely read for me as I’m getting ready to pack my eldest up for her second year at college. It’s tremendous watching them grow and see them ” become” themselves away from us. But still… I miss her already

  7. Couldn’t agree more, and I don’t even have a kid! I know one thing – if I was allowed to wear a cardboard car to my first day at school, I would’ve loved EVERY SINGLE SECOND. 🙂

  8. djmatticus says:

    Can’t wait for the little prince to be headed off to school – oh the adventures he will have, and that we will get to have with him at that age.
    The queen keeps complaining that he is growing too fast, getting bigger, getting teeth, and he isn’t still her little baby. I know she is mostly joking, but it’s not a line of thinking I subscribe to. Yes, he was cute and easy to manage when he was brand new, but there is so much for him to learn and experience, there are so many things I want for him, that I’m already excited for him to be moving away from the helpless infant stage.

  9. Vicki Wright says:

    Lovely piece …….and what a precious picture too! Dorian has a very beautiful face…..and I can easily see that he is an adorable little boy too. I love hearing about him …and all of the funny and often wise things he says too! And like his mother, he also is both thoughtful and creative ….and this includes all the ways of looking at the world. I have admittedly lamented and longed for my son to stay 4 years old and so I could bask in his wonder, joy, innocence, and light …..and then “fast forward” (and I mean FAST forward) to today ….. and he is now a 25 year-old young man who is engaged to be married ……and that I find am also literally prouder and prouder of him each day that passes! There is no love like the love you have for your children. There is also no love like the love you have for a parent. So I guess that is why being a grandparent is so wonderfully satisfying and so joyful too ……and is because I know that if he has a son, then I will hopefully get to experience the wonder of it all again.. …and to learn that there is also no love like the love we have for our grandchildren too. In turn, there is no love like the love we have for our grandparents either. It is so beautiful to realize that the facets and depths of love really has no bounds and the shades and the colors of our love has no limits …… and that the myriad kinds of love we have is infinite.

    As I get older, I can also see the simple truth that LOVE is why we are here…. and the more profound truth that LOVE is our life’s purpose…….and I also see that altho both these truths overlap….. and they are also one and the same…..and yet, are also very different. The wonder and mystery of LOVE is ours to experience …… and to also teach and to learn.

    We are ALL here to LOVE ONE ANOTHER …. AND AS WE LOVE OURSELVES. The Golden Rule. This is one of the biggest lessons of love and also certainly one of its higher expressions, as well. LOVE is very powerful……it can bring great happiness, great joy, ecstasy, peace, forgiveness, gratitude, contentment, and wonder and yet, it can also bring pain, suffering, agony, heartbreak, tears, disappointment and great sadness as well.

    So where there is LOVE……LET THERE ALSO BE LIGHT.

    • What a beautiful post, Vicki! Your writing is so inspiring and insightful. I don’t mean to say I don’t miss those younger years – I do at times -but to see him at 25, like your son, is something that thrills me – I cannot wait to see what he does and how he develops. You must be so proud of your son.

      Thank you – I think he’s pretty cute too

  10. rossmurray1 says:

    I’m so excited to see my daughter start her new school. Grade 7! I’m anxious on her behalf as well and worry about how, with her own set of challenges, she’ll fit in. But still, Grade 7!
    Love this piece.

  11. I don’t want my kids to be babies again either, although if circumstances were different, I’d want another baby. I love seeing my kids pass through each milestone. I was able to arrange it so that they both start preschool next week! Cadence was so jealous that her brother was going and she couldn’t so we moved some mountains and now they both get to go. Those 9 hours a week are gonig to change our lives!

  12. Carrie Rubin says:

    “I was so thankful that my child was alive, thriving, growing and able to go to school.”—Yes! Well said. What a lovely post. Seeing our children grow and learn is one of the fabulous things about parenting. Yes, I would love one 24-hour period where I could go back in time when each of my boys was young, but I love watching them grow up and claim their independence.

  13. El Guapo says:

    I guess it’s a matter of perspective.
    You went through quite a set of challenges for yours to get to teh first day of school.
    Gives you a different way of looking at it.
    An inspiring way.

    • I think most things are a matter of perspective – there’s story that I love about ‘good luck’ – basically every time something ‘bad’ happened people would say “what bad luck” – and the wise man would say “maybe, maybe not” and then something good happen because of the ‘bad luck’ of before – and so on – for me, the lesson is trying to see it another way –

      I’m not saying I’ve never been sad that my son is growing so fast – but it’s not a longing for keeping him one way – probably more that my life is passing too –

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