As hard as it is to say goodbye to the lazy days of summer every year and get the kids back to school, there are also quite a lot of fond memories associated with starting a new chapter and embarking on a new adventure each year.
From the time I was a little girl, I always got butterflies in my stomach whenever the first day of school rolled around. Actually, one of my earliest memories was from my very first day of preschool when I was three years old. (No, I seriously remember it.) I was sitting in the back seat of the car on the way to school, and I couldn't stop staring at my brand new navy blue shoes that perfectly matched my uniform. (It was a private preschool.) I was in absolute awe of those shoes for whatever reason, and even though it was 32 years ago (yikes!) I can still recall sitting in that station wagon clear as day.
But now that I'm all grown up (definitely arguable) and have a child of my own, back to school memories truly have a whole new meaning.
Here are 25 back to school memories to cherish from when we were kids and the moments we'll remember with our own children as they grow up.
1. Going with our parents to pick out a brand new plastic lunch box at the local drug store. There were usually 5 to 10 themes to choose from.
2. Taking our kids to pick out their new backpacks each year, of which there are about 100 different themes to choose from.
3. Heading downtown to the department store with mom to stock up on nice back-to-school clothes.
4. Sitting with the kids in front of the computer and buying all of their back-to-school outfits with a couple of clicks and a credit card number.
5. Getting dropped off in front of the school and walking through the big front doors and thinking we were finally "big kids."
6. Putting our little ones on the school bus and watching them wave goodbye -- then trying not to cry as the bus drives off and we go back inside to face the day without them.
7. Meeting the new teacher for the very first time and having her show us to our old, rickety desks that had been used by other students for years.
8. Hearing our kids come home and tell us about the new computers in the computer lab that they get to use each day.
9. Coming home to our moms to tell them all about our first day of school and how good or bad things went.
10. Waiting in pure anticipation of our kids running off the bus and into our arms and either telling us they loved school -- or refusing to let go of us ever again.
11. Seeing what kind of goodies our moms packed us in our lunches each day.
12. Making sure our kids' lunches are healthy and also sensitive to other kids at the school who have allergies. The last thing we want to do is get our kids in trouble for bringing the wrong foods.
13. Catching up with all of the friends we didn't get to see over the summer break.
14. Hearing all about the new friends our children make during those first few weeks of school, and feeling like we did something right by teaching them to be outgoing and kind.
15. Bringing our parents to school to meet the teacher and see the classroom for the first time.
16. Going to our child's school and seeing where they spend their time each day, and meeting the teacher who is lucky enough to get to spend the entire day with them.
17. Staying up late and watching movies on the first Friday night after the first week of school.
18. Being able to tell our kids it's time to go to bed "because it's a school night."
19. Getting our first good grade of the year and bursting at the seams to tell our parents when we got home.
20. Absolutely bursting with pride the first time our kids bring home a piece of work with a big "A" stamped at the top.
21. Picking out a brand new dress for school picture day.
22. Choosing the perfect outfit for our kids on school picture day and frantically messing with their hair that morning so it doesn't stick straight up in the shot.
23. Coming home from school and playing outside until dinnertime to savor the last few warm weeks of the year.
24. Taking our kids out in the yard to play catch after school to savor the few hours of the day we have them all to ourselves.
25. Knowing that each and every single year will bring new experiences, a new wealth of knowledge, and plenty of unexpected surprises. (Even though the years always seem to go way too fast.)
What are some of your fondest back to school memories?
Image via krow10/Flickr