September 15, 2011

First Day of School Traditions

I have Opening Day traditions and Christmas traditions and Softball traditions (like enjoying the sweet, sweet taste of a Strikeout Beer 1), but I've never really had a "First Day of School" tradition. Both of my parents were scrambling to get me and my sister up, showered, dressed, fed and off to school is roughly 9.7 seconds, so there was no time. The closest thing I had to a First Day of School Tradition was a morning filled with anxiety and panic—Will my teacher like me? Will the kids remember who I am? Will anyone notice that I used my Tooth Fairy money to buy this awesome Swatch Watch?

Honestly, the idea of First Day of School Traditions never dawned on me until I saw my friend Tari post this on Facebook:

"I remembered at midnight last night, that my twin girls have school this morning. Glad I had that second glass of wine. "

If that wasn't tradition enough, she also posted this:

"Starting the day with a Family tradition: Eating breakfast out on the first day of school!"

This got me thinking, should I start some traditions with my girls? So far the past two years all I've done is taken Ella's picture in front of her school and, immediately upon picking her up from school, asked her "How on Earth did you get that blue stain on your shirt?"

So I posed this question to my FB friends:
"Anyone have any first-day-of-school traditions? Would love to hear them."
The answers ranged from the practical ...
Erin: I take a photo of my kids in front of the tree in front yard. Have every year since Kindergarten. 
Judy: We also took a picture on the first day and had them hold up so many fingers to match the grade they were in.
Mary: Send a cloth hankie belonging to mom/dad that fits in their pockets to touch and know you'll be back at 3:00.
Becky: Back to school time means new undies and socks. Gotta stay fresh, and I'm all about tradition. ;)

To the delicious
Melissa: When my friend was growing up, her mom would make her homemade chocolate chip cookies after school.

Jennifer: I always cook my kids a spaghetti dinner.

Krista: We always went out for ice cream on the first and last day of school with my parents.

To the Keep-Them-Away-From-My-Daughters:
Ray: In college I found the hot girls in my class and then sat next to them and asked for their that what you meant? ;) 
Kevin M.: I wake up early and throw rocks at the school buses when they drive by. I love traditions. 
Kevin A.: I would be so drunk...

To my sentimental favorites ...
Kristin: A note for each of them in their lunch boxes, telling them I love them and to have a great year. I do it when they're not looking so it'll be a surprise. 
Ben: My dad made us take a picture in front of the house every first day of school. I used to hate it, but when I graduated high school he gave me an album that had all of them in it. Every year. One of my most cherished possessions. 

When I was young, I thought traditions were generally stupid. It wasn't until I became a parent that I realized how much I cherish those annual memories—and how much my own parents must have enjoyed them too. I'm not sure what traditions I'm going to do next year, but I'm definitely going to do something.

One thing is for certain: I know I'm going to start the night before with two healthy glasses of wine. (Thanks for the suggestion, Tari!).

1 A "Strikeout Beer" is a free beer brought to the ballpark by a fellow teammate who spent the previous week embarrassing himself by striking out in slow-pitch softball. That's right: Slow. Pitch. Softball. Required: At least one beer for every member of the team. Not required: Beer that costs more than an average batting glove and tastes better than feet. (In fact, it's recently become a challenge on our team to find the cheapest, worst-tasting beer available in the Queen City. As a teammate who appreciates a good Strikeout Beer, I hate this challenge.) 

Thanks to everyone for their thoughts. If you have a "First Day of School Tradition" definitely share it in the comments section. I would love to hear them (as I'm sure everyone would love good ideas to be shared). 

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jennifer said...

at 1st i thought you posted last years picture. then i realized she looks soooo grown. when did that happen?!?!

Juliann Wetz said...

We do have a 1st day tradition. Every year we measure my daughter with a pencil mark on the wall. This year she started 6th grade and grew 4 inches since the first day of 5th grade. That was the biggest growth spurt yet.

We also take a picture of her getting off the bus. I think she hates it now, but some traditions are for me, not her.

ant daley said...

I use to have to walk to school, uphill, 2 miles both ways, no shoes, in the snow - even in Fall & Spring, with my sisters (yer mother in law was one of them) hitting me the entire time we walked.