“Back to school” are words that most parents are super excited to hear. These words mean that kids will be back in school, and the long days of summer and endless snack-making are over for while.
This year is my first experience with back to school. I have been fortunate enough to be able to stay home with my children and not have to put them in daycare, but now my first born is off to preschool. Since this is my daughters first “back-to-school”, I am worried about a few things.
Unfortunately, since my daughter is going to school now, I am worried about another school shooting that would involve her or her school. It is sad to think that parents have to fear sending our kids to school, as if we are sending them to some sort of war deployment. School should be a safe space, but it simply isn’t anymore. I was a sophomore in high school, in Colorado, when Columbine happened, and it seems as though nothing has improved since then.
I was looking at school supplies online and came across a bullet proof back pack and it stopped me in my tracks. These shouldn’t even exist, but I’d be kidding if I said I didn’t consider buying one for my preschooler. I wish it wasn’t our reality, but this is something that is weighing heavily on my mind during back to school time.
I am also worried about bullies. Being bullied in school shaped me in many ways. My heart would literally break if she came home and told me that her classmates were mean to her. Or worse, what if she is the bully? I absolutely will not stand for that either. We have hopefully done a good job about teaching her to be kind and inclusive with others, but I can’t help but worry. If there is someone being left out, I hope that she is the one that goes to talk to them and asks them to join her. Back to school makes you wonder if you’ve done all you can to prepare your child for the real world- a world that can be cruel. As parents, we have so many worries, and school shouldn’t be one of them, but it is. All we can do is our best when it comes to educating our children and being present for them.
Despite all of these back to school worries, there are things I am excited about. I am excited about her making friends and learning. She cannot wait to start school. she seems pretty fearless about it. I hope that excitement doesn’t fade. I do not have any friends with kids who live close by; so school will be great for her socially. She’ll be able to engage with other children her age and learn important social skills.
Having had 3 full years of just my daughter before my son was born, it will be nice to be able to spend time with just him while sister is in school. Creating memories with him and bonding with him individually is something I am looking forward to.
Back to school also meant back to school supplies. My daughter and I really enjoyed getting the school supplies together. Having always loved school supply shopping, I was excited to get everything for her. There is something about school supplies that just brews excitement and anticipation. She keeps asking when she can use them, which gives me flashbacks of back to school when I was her age!
I don’t know how I am going to react when I drop her off on her first day of school. I might come home with a mascara-stained face and cry all day until I pick her up. But I hope that she doesn’t see me cry.
I want her to enjoy school, make new friends, and most importantly, be kind and inclusive and just shine like the beautiful human she is.