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  • debatella

No More First Days of School!

I sent my first baby to pre-school in 1997. My last baby just graduated from college in 2023. I’ve had 26 consecutive years of first days of school and back to school shopping. This “no kids in any kind of school” territory is weird for me!

There is a 6 1/2 year age gap between my first and third babies. All 3 kids were never in the same school at the same time. That 2nd baby briefly spent time in school with each sibling. When my oldest went to middle school I didn’t realize that there was a difference between the middle and elementary school calendars and I may or may not have accidentally kept a kid home or sent a kid to school when I should have done the opposite!

I had 3 kids!!!

3 sets of back to school forms!!!!

I was bleary eyed and exhausted.

This was pre everything is done electronically.

I couldn’t cut and paste any information.

It was all long hand in black, never blue, ink!

I really feel the calendar change should have been covered at middle school orientation for all the first time parents.

My kids went to public school and there were no uniforms. How I consistently wished and prayed that the school district would change their policy to uniforms. The wardrobe fights….well we won’t talk about the wardrobe fights.

When the kids were in elementary school it was always around the 3rd week of August that they received their classroom assignments. Our mail was regularly delivered after 3pm so all their friends would know who their new teachers were before my kids. The drama and the countless, fruitless, trips up to check the mailbox that would ensue every year were A LOT to deal with! But I secretly loved them. Well, only when they got their teacher of choice. Otherwise cue the tears, complaints and foot stomping (them & sometimes me) and the hugs, comforting and assurances that it would all be ok (me). And it always was ok except for one, horrible year, so awful, that to this very day we do not ever mention the name that must never be spoken out loud in our home!

The beginning of middle school was always a huge deal. It was the first time the kids had a locker. They all worried about being able to remember their combination. My husband bought them each a lock to practice on. They were fine. One time we were called to school for a meeting about one of the kids. We were confused because we weren’t aware of there being any problems with this kid. We ended up being mortified! It was a ridiculous reason for a meeting and I am slightly embarrassed even writing about this right now but it's funny and it happened and I’m honest! We were called in because our child’s locker was a biohazard! There were countless crumpled lunch bags, water bottles and trash in the bottom. You had to brace yourself opening it because something would inevitably fall out onto your head or feet depending on where you were standing.

High school. I hated it. I hated it because it meant they were going to leave soon. Also because they all learned to drive and having a kid on the road for the first time is nerve wracking. Teenagers can be amazing and they can also sometimes be not so nice to their parents and really moody. During those times I lovingly used the term, MEANagers I’ve heard said that kids get real mean right before they leave for college to help lessen the blow of them leaving. Thankfully it doesn’t last! High school flew by for each of them. It really felt like we went from orientation to graduation in the blink of an eye.

Two of my kids went the traditional college route and one followed the trade school path. The kid that went into the trades had a goal of buying a house before their friends graduated from college and renting the house to said friends. That goal was fabulously accomplished!

The two that went to college never lived in the same apartment for more than 1 year. My husband and I are professional packers and movers at this point. Did we complain? YES (well I did, he didn’t) Did they ever live anywhere that wasn’t gross and that I didn’t disinfect before they moved in? NO. One apartment was so disgusting that the walls were a completely different color after I washed them (yes I wash walls, and switch plate covers and windows and every other surface)

I only did the initial clean. They were on their own after that. Why you ask did I do the initial clean? Well it’s because everything else was out of my control (as it should have been) and it was comforting for me to know they went to sleep in a clean apartment, if only for one night!!!

As I stand in this new phase of my life I honor the memories, the laughter, the tears and the ever present love that threads through every chapter as a parent. They might be done school but they’ll never be done being my greatest teachers and the loves of my life!


No more first day pictures.

No more forms to fill out.

No more back to school shopping.

No more move in days.

No more new school supplies……..

Wait!!!!! There will always be new school supplies because I love them. I have a whole cabinet full of notebooks, pens, folders, glue, markers, etc. You need a stapler, 3 hole punch or new binder? I got you!

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