My Top 5 Reality and Benefits of “Back to School”

My youngest son is about to embark on his “last first day of school” everthis week. He is a senior in college! Where do that time go anyway? I’m much too young to have a senior in college! I don’t know whether to laugh or cry.

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Though you might not be sending anyone back to school in this moment, at some point we’ve all started a new school year. I invite you to think of those days as you read this post…   

I have fond memories of the school age years with my boys. I also have not so good memories… Babies don’t keep. FYI: children don’t either. As I watched Lindsey Regan Thorneon her Instastories braving through tears of joy when her son peddled a two-wheel bikelike a boss for the first time, I found myself relating. I got teary-eyed for her. It’s actually what led me to write this blog post. 

Riding a two-wheel bike is quite often the first step to our independence. It’s such a proud parental moment. I remember when my son Blake rode his two-wheel bikein the culde sac. I can hear his squeals of delight while also feel my tears of joy as a little part of me had to let go of a bit of him. It’s the beginning… the first the two wheeler; the first day of school; the first time they drive; the first date… you get the picture.   

Here is what I have learned over the years about school as I look back in honor of my last son having his last first day: 

1.    School is like riding a bike. Sometimes you hit a bump and fall and sometimes you go fast and enjoy the ride. 

2.    Not all kids are nice. “The apple doesn’t fall from the tree” is pretty accurate. If there is a mean or selfish kid look at their parent(s) and know you or your child doesn’t have to be friends with everyone,but we DO have to be nice to everyone. Respect is earned. Kindnessis given. 

3.    I am a former teacher and I loved my job but didn’t love the disciplinary problems. Please teach your children how to share, to be nice, and to be helpful. Basic manners will take them far. 

4.    Do not compare your child with anyone else’s kid. Each of our children have gifts and talents. Let him or her flourish in his or her way. 

5.    Teach your children how to WORK. There isn’t a class on “work ethic”. It is ok for them to be a student, have chores, and a summer job. 

If you are like my friend Mary Andersonwho sent her first born off to college recently know that I cry with you. The roles reverse. At the Kindergarten door they may hang on to you with doubt or indecision but saying that college goodbye for the first time is like putting the dagger through your heart and falling on it. You know it is where they should be. You know it is time,but you aren’t quite sure how you got to this point and no one is ever ready to say goodbye. 

My friend Amy Shookis about to say goodbye at the Kindergarten door for the first time. I have tears for her too! I look forward to watching her journey navigating the next 12 years. It is a commitment. (There is a reason we have summer break!)

Back to school means back to reality for all of us. The roads are a bit more congested so the commute gets longer. We’re one more year removed from the last time you walked the halls of your favorite school. A new school year means new books, new school supplies and a new chance to make the honor roll. 

Remember, starting new is like riding a bike. Sometimes we fall, but that teaches us to get up and try again. Time waits for no one so enjoy the ride. 

Shelly L. Henderson is a wife, mother, author, and business owner. She is a voice of reason and reality. You can pick up a copy of her book Starting From Scratchon Amazon. You can find her on Instagram and Facebook at @shellylhenderson. Check out her weekly Starting From Scratch podcast on Souncloud and coming soon to all major podcast platforms. 

Be on the look outfor “moms back to school night” coming in October as we support other moms, women who are second moms and those in between! 

Kelly Wallace