It's the most wonderful time of the year! No, I'm not one of those crazy people promoting Christmas already -- I'm talking about the celebration heard around the nation when our kids go back to school. If you read my blog post last year, Back to School, Rules!, then you already know that this working mom of three does the dance of joy when my kids go back to school. Insert funny monkey dance (if you haven't seen it, Google it!). So, in celebration of a new school year with many "new" moments for our family (oldest entering junior high, middle child embracing school without her big sister and baby boy moving on up to the Big Twos in "baby school"), I thought that I would share my Top 10 Reasons Why Back to School is the Most Wonderful Time of the Year (Letterman-style):
10. Bedtime. Your kids will finally go to bed at a "normal" bedtime. For us, our kiddos started out summer going to bed between 9:00 p.m.-10:00 p.m., and now they could literally watch Late Night With David Letterman (we will miss you, Dave!) because I can barely get them to go to bed before midnight!
9. Your kids will fall back into a good routine. Yes, it's nice to stay in PJs all day or have playdates with friends or even take a much-needed family vacation. But truth be told, I look forward to the natural routine that comes from kids who have been in school all day using more of their brains and less of their digital devices. I find that I am more productive, too. It's definitely a win-win.
8. They are out of the house! Can I get an amen? Seriously, as much as this mom tries to plan fun outings, summer camps and playdates, I am so ready to get them out of the house and back in the classroom. Hallelujah!
7. Better sleep. Not to be confused with bedtime. Real seven- to eight-hour sleep!
6. The sports. I never thought that I would be a soccer mom, but I really have enjoyed watching my oldest get into the game and meet new people who love the game, too. Yes, it makes for busy weeks with practice and games on every Saturday, but it's all worth it.
5. Clean carpets. Yes, I've already scheduled the appointment.
4. The fashion! I recently had the chance to do some shopping with my kids at the new outlets in our city. Even had the chance to get some fashion advice from celebrity stylist, Mark-Alan Harmon. I share this to say, take time to "style" your children (if they'll still let you). I remember those shopping moments with my mom. They bring a smile to my face when I think about how excited she was to help me find some new clothes. And it doesn't have to break the bank -- create a realistic budget and stick to it. Some of my best fashion finds for my children have come from discount stores and hand-me downs.
3. My coffee on my schedule. Cheers to a latte, espresso or beverage of your choice, when you want it and how you want it, without having to juggle those precious little loves of your life while drinking it!
2. Their friends. May they create new memorable moments with old friends, and make new ones, too.
And, the number one reason why back-to-school is the most wonderful time of the year...
1. Their teachers. Let me take this moment to thank all teachers past, present and future who give of their time, money and most importantly, their heart. Thank you for teaching our children and encouraging them to be the best that they can be. This mom is eternally grateful and will offer my time, donations to the classroom and goodies whenever I can.
Here's sending all of my fellow parents a big "high five" as you prepare your students to go back to school. May the 2014-2015 academic year be filled with more stories of random acts of kindness than acts of bullying. And, may your students thrive in their studies and discoveries so that they can in turn teach us what it's like to be young at heart, eager to learn new things and inspire us that we're never too old to follow our dreams.