I’ve Got the Back to School Blues

written by Tonya Evans September 21, 2017

This school year hit me hard. No, not simply because I live in South Florida and my family and I evacuated 4 days after school began to escape Hurricane Irma. Although yes, that is definitely enough to give one the blues! I’ve got the back to school blues for one reason and one reason alone – with each passing year my children get closer to adulthood.

My kids are clearly not babies anymore as they head into the seventh and fifth grades, their height alone is a visual reminder that they are definitely not babies {cue my sobs}. I don’t know where the time has gone {more sobs as I use every cliché to talk about how quickly they’ve grown}. I know I can’t turn back time, nor do I want to. Though I miss their little baby smells and snuggles I distinctly remember the feeling of total exhaustion during their dizzying infant and exhausting toddler years. We were truly on #teamnosleep.

But this year, when I looked up, I realized that my time with them is fleeting. Each not so baby step that my son is making toward independence is a not so baby step away from us. I want him to fly yet I also yearn for him to stay. My daughter now says ‘no’ much more than she uses the word ‘yes’ and is mature beyond her years. But now, I do my absolute best to hang on to her hugs for dear life and hope she’ll want to sit in my lap forever, like she does now, even though she is almost as tall as I am.

My three heartbeats.

Life goes so fast and I know that I can’t stop time. What I’ve done is implement 5 family traditions and memory keepers. My hope is that my children look at this time fondly and hope yours will too.

Friday Night Gratitude. Each Friday we gather for pizza night. Each person writes down what they are most grateful for from the previous week and we place in our gratitude jar. At the end of the year, I make a book that includes the comments from the year. It’s been great to see what the kids value most and beautiful to know that most of the things they cherish, money can’t buy.

Picture books. My best friend’s mom creates photo books based on all of their vacations, family celebrations and special occasions – an idea I’ve adopted. The kids love to see their special events like tournaments or birthdays in a book format.

Ornament picking. Each Christmas the kids get to select their own Christmas ornament to go onto the tree. They love to place the special ornaments they’ve picked on the tree. Watching their happy faces – priceless.

Bedroom Birthday decorations. When my son was born we went all out to decorate his room for his very first birthday. For each of their birthdays my husband goes into their rooms in the middle of the night and decorates their rooms with streamers, balloons, signs, and confetti and he covers their floors with their favorite candies. One year we thought my son was over it and didn’t decorate that night. He was soooooo disappointed and thought we’d forgotten his birthday. We promised we’d never do that again and that we would sneak into his college dorm and do the same thing.

Moonlight Dinners at the Beach. Once per quarter we take the kids to the beach at night for dinner. We pick up a food and snacks on the way and have a beach picnic at night. The kids love it and it’s the one time they play together without arguing or electronics.

If you’d enjoyed this please share. I’d love to hear some of your family memory making traditions and please let me know if you try any of these ideas in the comments so I can share them with our fab and fearless community!

Xoxo,

Tonya

 

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