Farewell Summer…

Summer, you’ve been so lovely.  All sleeping in late & less strict bedtimes. Vacations & memories & play filled your days. How I love the baby-naptime swimming for the big brothers. The shade over our pool & the branches of the oak trees full of moss & squirrels & birds.

Summer, I have loved your food. We have become spoiled on the trips out to eat & pancakes for breakfast. I have relished in not making school lunches & enjoyed eating lunch with my boys far more.

Oh, and Summer? I’m so thankful for baby nap freedom. No pushing the baby’s nap for school pick up. No waking the baby from sleep to run to the car. It has been wonderful & restful & a relief.

but…

Here’s to you, School Year; here’s to you Fall. We will be awaken by alarm clocks for the next 10 months & making school lunches 5 days a week. We will sort through copious paper work & submit countless forms with signature.

You bring some (albeit very little) relief from the heat of Summer, but it’s welcome none the less. You bring earlier sunsets & easier bedtime shifts. You bring holidays & traditions & new friends at school. Field trips & T ball games & nights under the big sycamore trees.

Summer, we will miss you. But the brother fighting & chaos from constant games will not be missed.  I trade that chaos for the quiet of the sons away, but I miss them, noisy chaos & all

School Year, we steady ourselves for the season of hurry & hurt it can cause. I know I can control the rush, but only in part. Beyond my control is where my anxiety knocks loud at the door of my heart. So, we  steady ourselves. I game plan & strategize, but I have to ‘just wait & see’ as well. The combination stretches me, uncomfortably.

Lord, thank you for this school year beginning. Thank you for the summer’s end. Both are a unique blessing; both bring unique challenges. Please help me to make wise decisions & not be wracked by guilt or frustration. Give my sons courage & kindness at school; protect them Lord & guide their steps. Lord, give my heart peace & courage. Help me be brave in letting my boys go everyday.

Thank you Lord for your gracious love & all the sweet moments you give everyday. Thank you for time to write it down, to see it clearly & to know Lord it is your presence in my life.

Please help us this School year. Lord, today’s the beginning. Amen.

Ways to survive sending your oldest to Kindergarten ((part 4))

I’d like to finish out this top ten list with one simple way to encourage your child & one simple way to encourage you. Kindergarten may be tougher on you than it is on your son or daughter! It was for me.

9. Buy chocolate milk!

This may seem totally odd & off topic, but trust me, it’s not.  We found one simple way to encourage our son, and it was having chocolate milk with his lunch everyday.

I visited him at school for lunch after the initial ‘no visitors’ period had ended, and I was surprised to learn that although he took a water bottle to school, he wasn’t taking it to lunch with him. (Now if I had been a bit more gutsy, I would have just walked up to the lunch room supervisors and asked if they students were allowed water bottles in the cafeteria or not. But I digress…). So I asked my boy if he’d like chocolate milk, & he absolutely lit up!

yes! What a treat! $0.25 for chocolate milk to help my boy feel like he had something to look forward to was a very small price to pay. Talk about positive association for school & building self efficacy! “You can do it son, and guess what!? Chocolate milk!”

(You should see the look on my 5 year old’s face when I tell him that at big school, he gets chocolate milk EVERY DAY. It’s motivational y’all)

10. Last, but certainly not least: Smile! Enjoy these moments; they are fleeting.

For me, it is overwhelming to consider a situation like school where I have very little control. I hesitate to speak up maybe when I should just ask simple questions, and I end up worried or upset because of simple confusions. I have to remind myself, I cannot make it harder on my kids because it is hard for me. 

I don’t want to miss out on the fun & sweetness of elementary school years, because honestly, after that it seems like they won’t be little anymore. These are my first steps in letting go, giving freedom, & training them to use it wisely. I do not expect it to be smooth sailing, and yet I find myself surprised sometimes when it’s not.

So, ENJOY IT. Try your best, find something to help YOU get through the day easier. Maybe it’s chocolate milk? Or maybe it’s scripture reading or memory verse reciting. For me? It’s my gratitude journal- my list of all the things in this life I can count as gifts. The Lord is gracious to me & lifts my spirits simply by giving thanks for what I have.

No matter what’s winding up those strings in your heart&mind, don’t let stress steal your joy. Read all the papers that come home. Have an after school ice cream date & dig for details of the day. Give extra snuggles at bed time & tell your kiddo how much you love them.

Maybe the only thing you can truly count as joy is kissing that forehead one last time as they go off to school- that’s ok. It’s a place to start & there is all kinds of room to grow. You can do it!! Be brave; if not for yourself, then for your kiddo.

 

I hope these simple tips from my journey this past year can help make yours smoother. Please do tell me if so! I would absolutely love it.

Blessings- gabrielle

in case you missed it…

Ways to survive sending your oldest to Kindergarten ((part 1))

Ways to survive sending your oldest to Kindergarten ((part 2))

How to survive sending your oldest to Kindergarten ((part 3))