Sometimes I forget how lucky I am. For example, how many parents can say their kids are excited to go back to school? Okay, so I loved going back to school as a kid — but all my favorite activities involved air conditioning. My kid LIVES for summer, but he’s hyped for back-to-school as well.
Maybe he’s excited because he’s an only child and misses being around other kids. Or perhaps it’s that his classroom is in a newly-built wing. Or he’s just pumped to use his new Black Panther backpack.
It’s likely all those things. But it’s also a genuine love of learning. And as a parent, I can’t imagine how I could be more lucky.
A couple of weeks ago, Jon initiated this conversation.
“Daddy, this year at school I have some goals,” he began.
“Oh yeah? Like what?” I asked.
He begins to list them. “I want to be a better listener in class. I want to not talk in class unless I raise my hand or it’s my turn. I want to be a better helper. I want to stand up to bullies…”
He pauses… “Well, I already stand up to bullies, so I want to keep doing that.”
I smile, proudly. “Those sound like great goals.”
For a second I considered bringing up the goals I’ve had swirling around in my overworked, over-worried Dad brain. Like responding better to disappointment and frustration, avoiding scuffles on the playground, making sure he eats all his lunch (not just his dessert and drink), recalling the tools he learned last year for when he gets stuck on writing assignments, not getting too obsessed with screen time…
If you’re a parent, you know this list could go on and on, as it’s always present, ever evolving — and it seems, expanding. But I stopped myself.
“I’m really proud that you’re making goals, and I’m really proud that you like school as much as you do,” I said instead.
There would be plenty of opportunity to offer advice/voice concerns over the next 9+ months of 3rd grade. Yet also plenty of opportunity to allow him to make (and learn from) mistakes, seek out my help on his own, and yes, even learn to figure things out by himself.
Watching your kid grow up can be hard, y’all! But it also reminds me how lucky I am to be here for it.
First Day of School photo outtake:
It was hot and muggy outside, so we initially tried to take the photo indoors. However, the lighting was bad, and my subject kept getting distracted by the lurker overhead.
First day “favorites” photos from kindergarten, first, and second grade.
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
I’d love to see your kids’ first day of school pics! Send them via email or FB messenger, and I’ll share them on the Designer Daddy Facebook page!
Never miss a post! Subscribe to Designer Daddy by entering your email below SUBSCRIBE at the top of this page, or clicking here.