Some of you might be thinking, “If I read ONE.MORE thing about the first day of school…” I get it. You’re either all in or covering your eyes at this point. Moms typically fall into two categories on the first day: the Jessie Spano-I’m-So-Excited-This-Day-Has-Finally-Arrived or Sobbing-Ugly-Crying-Heartbroken-Mess the minute the bus pulls away. I’ve been both, though usually I can hold in the ugly cry until I get into the house. Maybe there’s some in between for moms, I don’t know. If it exists, I haven’t seen it – yet. But with kids, there are all kinds of them on the first day.
- I Don’t Wanna, You Can’t Make Me. You might think this is reserved for the high school folks who just can’t seem to get out of bed before noon when it still feels like summer. But it isn’t, elementary stinkers feel this pain too. Maybe they’re sad about missing sleep, maybe they’re a little afraid of a new building, new teacher, or new school year. Different is hard and it’s likely you’ll have an internal and external battle while Doomsday music lurks in the background and you responsibly send them on their way with nails screeching down the wall. At the end of the day, come up with two or three positive things from the day and one to look forward to the next day.
Encouragement: Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous! Do not tremble or be dismayed, for the LORD your God is with you wherever you go. Joshua 1:9
- This is the Best Day Ever! This student might be motivated by the social or academic aspect of a first day. Either way, they are thrilled to head back to the classroom. They’ve been talking about it for weeks to friends, family, the grocery store bagger. No problems getting this one up on time, dressed, and ready to tackle the day. Here’s to hoping they come home just a thrilled and with loads to tell you about their day. Oh Happy Day!
Encouragement: Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus. I Thessalonians 5:16-18
- Hermoine Has Nothing on Me. The scholar, who read all the summer reading, did all the extra assignments, probably learned cursive (even though it’s no longer taught any where – what a shame!) or built a rocket. As a teacher, I could pick these out of the crowd a mile away. They are a rare find, but special nonetheless. This sweet child probably packed their own backpack – weeks ago and lunch the night before and they will surely have a great time cramming in some extra spelling practice on the bus ride to school.
Encouragement: Let no one look down on your youthfulness, but rather in speech, conduct, love, faith and purity, show yourself an example of those who believe. 1 Timothy 4:12
- A Little Bit Excited, As Long As No One Is Looking. Tough to spot, this child is pretty A-OK with back to school but definitely won’t let you see them smile. Look for clues like no arguments about wearing a clean shirt when they’ve lived in a swimsuit or the same pair of basketball shorts All.Summer.Long. Maybe you’ll catch them happily selecting new supplies or checking the classlist and giving a fist pump when they spot a friend’s name. You don’t have to call it out just sit back and quietly observe the quiet anticipation in this one.
Encouragement: Blessed is the man who remains steadfast under trial, for when he has stood the test he will receive the crown of life, which God has promised to those who love him. James 1:12
- Juuuust a Smidge Nervous. No major fuss or muss here, but a sweet babe with just a touch of the nerves. Not enough to refuse all together, but enough to bring up a discussion about the “what ifs”. A bit of nervousness keeps us on our toes and this student will need a little extra encouragement – a lunch box note, an extra hug before darting out the door with the fullest backpack you’ve ever seen – until locker clean out the last day of school. (I’m sorry, I’m sorry…no rush yet.)
Encouragement: Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:6-7
No matter what kind of child you are privileged to escort off to the first day of school this year trust that God has gone before you both (Deuteronomy 31:8) and His protection and love are abundant when the excitement and fear of of this day arrive.
Share your favorite encouraging verse or funny first day story…I can’t wait to hear them.