There are a lot of ways to categorize moms. Just spend five seconds on the internet and you’ll see all the ways you can define a woman with kids. But for me, there is really only defining category: Moms who cry on the first day of school and Moms who do not. I am firmly planted in the latter camp. That is unless you count tears of joy because one singular tear of joy may have fallen down my cheek last Wednesday.
It’s not that I don’t love summer, I do. And it’s not that I don’t love summers with my kids, I do… most of the time. But lord almighty, it was time for that mess of hooligans to be under the care of someone other than me and the babysitter. If for no other reason than to put a stop to their attempts to cover the entire house in goldfish crumbs and quest to eat a diet that consists exclusively of snacks and popsicles.
I woke up last Wednesday morning with a pep in my step that hadn’t been seen in months. When my alarm went off at an ungodly early hour, I sprang out of bed like it was my own first day of school. I felt like Cinderella singing along with chorus of happy forest animals as I went about my morning routine and chores. It felt like the first warm day of spring after a long winter. I felt alive.
My kids were somewhere in between. Not quite as chipper as a Disney princess but certainly happy enough to escape the clutches of my nagging and never ending quest to get them to put their shoes back in their rooms. Either way, we were loaded into the car full dressed, hair brushed (a feat in and of itself), with lunches packed and without a full-on meltdown early. It was a truly an act of God.
See ya Never
As much as I love a first day of school pic, I’m leaving that work to the professionals. We have no signs, no fancy backdrops, no pencil and crayon themed wreath. Ours consists of me pushing the kids out into natural light and asking them to pretend to like one another and hold still. The holding still part is much more important than the liking one another part though. No one wants a blurry first day picture.
When I asked D3 to get ready so we could take a picture, he loudly proclaimed that he did not want a picture with the balloons at school. I laughed out loud as I assured him that was the last thing I wanted to do. You think I’m getting out of the car when there’s a perfectly good carpool? As if. We may not agree on much these days but at least we have that.
We pulled up at school, on time no less, and there it was – the true divide, right there on display in the rotunda. In one camp were those of us who couldn’t swing through the turnaround fast enough, and in the other, were those dedicated and wonderful parents who took the time to get out of the car, walk in and snap a picture with their kids as they entered through an archway of balloons. I took in the beautiful scene as I slowed my car to a light stop before all but pushing my kids out of the car. “Have the best day!” I yelled at them but really knew it was me repeating my mantra for the day.
Now there’s no way for me to tell if those parents cried as their kids waved good-bye underneath the balloons, though I imagine a little part of them got choked up at the prospect of another year in the books. I’ll never know because I was already screeching out of school, blaring “Free Falling” with the windows down. I’ve never driven to work in a better mood. Gone were the expletives and directives at cars to get out of the way. Gone was the resting bitch face. All replaced with an ease and calm that I won’t see again for another year.
Man oh man, though, it was fantastic.
Did you cry on the first day of school or were you, like me, feeling free as can be? Or both. I feel like both can be a thing.
On Me: Dress & Dwell Button-Down (similar here)
AG Skinny Jeans | Old Navy Gladiators
On Reese: Gymboree Star Rain Jacket c/o
Stripe Sunglasses Tee | Stripe Socks
Vans High Tops
Pink + Blue Bicycle
In all seriousness though, my kids love school as much as I love dropping them off. The only point of contention this year is the uniform Reese now has to wear. It is really stifling her inner-fashionista, which, as you can see here, is on full display these days. No lie, this weekend she attempted to wear a plaid sundress, black tights and velvet holiday shoes to go to a neighborhood yard sale. It’s really something.
We spent no less than an hour combing through the Gymboree site for this outfit in particular but I’ll give it to her, it’s pretty freaking cute. Wanting a pair of those high tops in my size too.
And one last thing. In the spirit of keeping it real, I thought you all should see what I big weirdo I looked like lugging Reese’s bike out for these photos. Was it worth it? Yes. Did I look like an idiot? 100% yes.
Back to School Cuteness