A LETTER TO EVERY MOM ON THIS BACK TO SCHOOL EVE

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TO THE FIRST-DAY-OF-SCHOOL FIRST TIMER MOM,

Look at you. You’ve got all the forms signed, all the nut-free snack crackers purchased, the “Class of 2030” chalkboard ready to go…

You. are. rocking. it.

Perhaps your summer consisted of nailing down the survival skills necessary for your tiny human’s new season. Skills such as: counting (maybe even in proper sequence), recognizing letters, eating enough food to keep them conscience for the rest of the day in an 8 minute (entirely distracted) window of time, not licking people or things, not putting fingers in small holes (nostrils, pencil sharpeners, etc.), and wiping until the toilet paper is clean (just us?). You have spent months preparing for this moment physically and years preparing for it emotionally. You have counted down the days in both excitement and in dread. As your perfect little angel babe steps foot onto that bus or that playground, you will likely experience a thousand emotions and then ugly cry because you can’t handle them all.

As they walk away, you will be asking yourself, “What if they miss me? What if I miss them? What if they hate it? What if they love it? What if they hurt another kid’s feelings? What if another kid hurts their feelings? What if I, in turn, hurt said kids’ mom’s feelings for raising a Lanky Little Meanie Face?”

Here’s the deal. All or none of those things may happen and YOU WILL BOTH MAKE IT. Thank you for caring enough to ask yourself those questions.

You are doing good, good work, Mama.

 

TO THE SEASONED BACK-TO-SCHOOL MOM,

I love your swagger. You have this thing DOWN. You attend open houses (or not) without a drop of sweat on your brow. You no longer fall for the “buy all the school things by the end of July or you’re going to lose your left arm and your kids will be shunned” charade–you’ve learned to hold back and scoop up the last-minute deals. Even if you are left with the ugly composition notebooks and (heaven forbid) white 3 X 5 cards instead of neon ones it doesn’t phase you because you claim it will “shape your sixth grader’s character and that’s what its all about, man”.

Thank you for proving that sandwiches don’t have to be shaped like a member of the animal kingdom for our kids to know they are loved. Thank you for showing us that there is still life after our kids find lives of their own. Thank you for being someone we can look to when it all still seems really new and scary.

You are doing good, good work, Mama.

 

TO THE TEACHER/HOMESCHOOL MOM,

Hallelujah and amen, you are an actual saint. You deserve a crown and many shiny things. To know that you are going from ‘Some-Of-My-Kids-Are-Wearing-Swimsuit-Bottoms-As-Underwear-Summer-Crazy’ directly into a role of teaching your and/or other people’s offspring makes my palms sweat. Whether you instruct from your dining room dressed in yoga pants or a classroom wearing a Christopher & Banks sweater vest, I salute you. You have the patience very few of us have. You are building memories that will never be forgotten and that’s a really big deal. And a really big gift.

Thank you for working tirelessly to educate these precious minds. You are shaping the future in doing so.

You are doing good, good work, Mama.

 

TO THE MOM SENDING A KID TO COLLEGE,

Typing that just made my vision blur. Tears well up as I think of you because I know it came so fast. And I know its coming my way just as quickly and I’m less than excited about that. I rest in the false comfort of being several years away but I know if I blink, I’m going to be standing there in your shoes. Standing next to a giant person you’ve raised from the ground up. You used to cradle them and rock them back and forth like that book with the boy who threw his dad’s watch in the toilet. But now they won’t let you cradle OR rock them. The disobedience and rudeness is astounding. You should probably just ground them for the next thirty years or something…they could use a little time out from leaving you.

A hot second ago, you were packing crustless sandwich lunches and now you’re packing a car with everything it takes for this precious person to exist away from you. Outside of your home. There’s now a backseat full of objects to begin the process of creating their home, their dreams, their story.

And, just like the kindergarten moms, you have a whole list of questions and worries you’re scrolling through. “What if I didn’t prepare them well enough? What if they hate it? What if they love it? What if they fail? What if they don’t do their laundry or hang the toilet paper roll the wrong way? What if they succeed and it goes to their head? What if they make unwise choices?” Time a million more…

But, in the midst of it all of these unknowns, you’re standing behind them. You’re looking out over the shoulder of this person you have poured your life into, and staring at the vast array of directions their life can go. And you are SHAKING IN YOUR BOOTS.

But you are cheering them on anyway. You have been shaping and guiding and directing and praying (oh my gosh, so much praying) for such a time as this.

Their independence is a reflection of your diligence. Thank you for going before us and showing us how this is done.

You have done and are doing good, good work, Mama.

 

So Much Love,

Kylie

 

 

 

 

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