It’s here! We’re back. Back to early mornings, back to schedules, back to school backpacks. And we feel fine. (Even though I’m not quite done with sleeping in and making the daily big choice between going to the pool or just hanging around for the day… but it’s not all about me, now is it?)
I’m not a teacher myself, but I’ve got great big affection for the folks who herd our kids into learning stuff throughout the year… so much that I’ve tackled it A LOT: what Kindergarten teachers really need our kids to know on the first day, why we need to give our teachers credit (that they know what they’re doing) and what the heck it means to emotionally prepare your child to go to school (and not pick their nose).
But what to do if the backpack your first grader picks makes you wince? Her top choices were… well… surprising. This was new for me.
SKULLS or ALIENS?!?! Where is my little baby girl who loves purple princesses??! I was confused. So what did I do? I texted my sister, THE TEACHER. She sent an ‘LOL’ back (noting how her little girl would pick the same thing) and then added “Maybe try to pick something else for first grade?” By this time my head was *this close* to exploding thanks to a huge yellow crayon overseeing our backpack-picking. (No hate on Target or Crayola, but I was in a weird state thanks to the skulls and aliens and all…)
So on a whim we picked the floral skulls and headed to the checkout. I questioned our choice. This is the one you like best? “Yes!” her face lit up. You’re going to like this even after Halloween is over? “Yes!” she was even more lit up now. What-oh-what will a teacher think about a first grader who comes to school with skulls on her backpack the very first day?! (I kept that question in my head…) We bought the skulls.
This was a big leap for me — letting my girl pick what she really wanted, as opposed to me saying ‘choose this and this or else’. Does this mean she’s a young gothic? Does this mean she likes scary things? Does this mean she’s a rebel? Does this mean she’s secretly a vampire? Those of you who know me in real life know that I have no issue saying ‘no’ to things I think are inappropriate (ie: skulls, aliens) no matter how much kids may protest. Yeah, I could’ve said no and she’d have gotten over it. But for once, I chose to say yes. Why not. It’s a backpack. It’s the only major thing she’s going to have a say in for her big first day… and possibly most of the year. (Because yes, I did drive the bus for the outfit choices — first impressions and all.)
This was a personal experiment for me — let’s see exactly WHAT this skull business means. Because maybe it means absolutely nothing and she just liked the way the colors look swirling together.
Cheers to me chilling out and not overthinking too much at this start of this very special new school year. (The design IS pretty cool…)
And, just like I always say — back-to-school is NOT about the backpack! My quickie conversation about real back-to-school preparation on CBS Los Angeles: