In Defense of Silly School Days

{read the opposing opinion Enough With The Parties}

Defending all the EXTRA school stuff

First, let me qualify what I’m about to write by noting that I am a mom to three irrepressible boys aged 8 and under. I work part-time (sometimes full-time), help with homework after school, juggle the usual slate of after-school sports, and serve as a room mom while trying to make it to speech therapy once a week and visiting my grandmother every day. All of this to say, my time is valuable and often stretched extremely thin. I’m not saying I’m busier than you, I’m just saying, “I get it!” We all have very full plates.

When it comes to these silly days at school, I know it can feel burdensome to have to coordinate who is eating hot/cold lunch, who is supposed to bring a healthy snack, whether it’s a regular uniform day, t-shirt day, full dress down day, crazy sock day or full-on PJ day. Whew. Lots to consider before the sun rises, and the pressure is intense. The worst feeling is showing up and being one of the few kids who forgot. BUT! I will argue that participating in all of it IS WORTH IT.

Do it for them

Our kids spend 35+ hours a week at school; every day is mostly the same. School uniforms limit their ability to assert their individuality, and standard-issued school supplies further the boring structure of today’s new classroom. I’ll admit, the preselected school supplies are convenient, but I’m also missing the tradition of taking my children shopping to select their own flavor of folders and composition books. Looking back at my own childhood, school supply shopping was always an exciting and memorable day. The smell of a fresh Lisa Frank folder packed tenderly into my purple Jansport backpack with the leather bottom is still fresh in my mind.  School Days

For my kids, they select a backpack, lunch kit and water bottle. That’s it. Everything else has been preselected for them and will be identical to their schoolmates. When they get to school, they’ll be asked to write their name on everything because there is no other way to tell who it belongs to.

This is why I try to be excited when I see that the school is planning something new and different for them. Finally, a chance for my kids to bring a piece of their silly personality to school with them. Their faces are always glowing as they rush off to school proudly sporting whatever hair or outfit or accessory they’ve concocted.

Let them be little

Being a parent to young children is a special mixture of bitter and sweet. The days are slow, but the years fly by. Before we know it, they’ll be selecting a college and we’ll be looking back at these days with rose-colored glasses.  For now, I’m going to do what I can to transform my initial feelings of frustration about having yet another detail to manage to excitement that there will be a few days when the kids are looking forward to getting to school.

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