Five little dresses are hanging from the bedpost in my daughter’s room. I didn’t put them there. That’s part of the charm. My 5-year-old daughter hung them there, lined them up one by one in preparation for her first week of school–which, mind you, is still a month away.
Her little display is quite the opposite of how I’m feeling about the subject of her as she starts Kindergarten. I’m not organized, unprepared and frankly really scared about the fact that my little girl is starting elementary school.
For months I toyed with the idea of homeschooling. I had all but officially decided to do it. I spoke to several homeschool families who make it work well for them, and felt that Lil’ J, being a young kindergartner could do really well at home too. But as the summer drug on, and my plans to be the educational mom I dreamt I’d be failed miserably, I decided to go along with my husband, who encouraged me to register her for public school.
We live in an area where the schools are great, so I’m not worried about that as much as the fact that my little girl who I’ve had at home with me for a couple years now will be off into the world, starting elementary school… FULL-TIME school. I mean this is it folks. Full-day kindergarten today and before I know it she’ll be graduating from high school.
I can’t lie, I’m scared. So scared. I worry I haven’t prepared her enough. Mentally or emotionally. What if she gets picked on? What if she makes another child feel bad? What if I let her watch too many surprise egg videos on YouTube and she’s totally behind the ball?
What if she doesn’t like school? I loved it from day one. All my parents had to do to keep me in line was threaten a day off from school. Back to School shopping, the new clothes and backpacks was one of my favorite holidays—I’m talking up there with Christmas.
But there are some thing I’m excited for. New traditions. First day of school photos. Pictures of her getting on the school bus for the first time, hearing about new friendships. All of the memories I loved every time a new school year ramped up again.
Now I’m on another side of things, buying items for my daughter’s first year of elementary school, and hoping she falls in love with learning like I have.
Soon summer breaks will actually mean something and back to school will signify more than just the end of a hot summer.
Back to School now means I’m picking up shopping lists, adjusting our schedules, and preparing for a new type of calendar year ahead. As scared as I am, the retail therapy is real.
Instead of new yoga pants and camera equipment (though those sound awesome right now too), I’m scoping out new lunch boxes, clothes and shoes with my daughter.
I’ve hardly made a dent in the frightening shopping list they schools hand out. The days of fun personal items are long gone here. So we skipped hunting for plain number 2 pencils and blue spiral notebooks we’ve been looking at new dresses and deciding what kind of backpack she wants.
Being so busy with work and traveling these last couple weeks, I ordered her four new dresses on sale from Sears.com/backtoshchool. I let her pick out the ones she wanted, selected “store pickup,” and sent my husband on a mission to go get it. It was a nice compromise. He didn’t have to sit through hours of browsing and debate at the store, and we were able to get them right away. They woulda brought it out to the car for him but he didn’t believe me.
“Man, all they did was scan my phone and hand me my stuff,” my husband said, amazed that it was really as simple as I told him it would be. I think he worried he’d have to listen to our daughter deciding on “options” for over an hour.
She proudly brought her dresses home, gave me a fashion show and proceeded to hang them up on her bed, where she says they’ll stay until her first week of school.
I’m so proud of my little girl and how far she’s come. I pray as she begins this new chapter that she’ll be brave and stand up for herself.
That she’ll stand up for others who aren’t able to stand up for themselves.
I pray that she’ll continue to see the good in everyone, and that any negativity around her won’t darken her spirit.
That she’ll be confident and love herself.
That she’ll learn to love learning, and continue to devour new information.
I pray that she’ll remember how much I love her, and know that I just want her to be happy.
In just a few more weeks we’ll pull down her dresses and start a new phase. We don’t know what’s ahead. But I have a feeling it’s going to be great.
What are your hopes for your children this school year?
Leave a comment letting me know, and let me know what you’d love from Sears in your back-to-school shopping haul. One random commenter will win a $50 gift card to Sears. Giveaway ends July 31st.
This story is sponsored by Sears. You can your back to school shopping less stressful by using their Shop Your Way services like Reserve-It (where you can reserve your items online to try on in the store), and Vehicle Pickup. Find out more at Sears.com/backtoschool. All opinions expressed in my story are my own.