As a mom of 2 teens, 1 almost-teen (she’s 12, same thing) and a college-aged child (YIKES!) I feel it safe to say that the transition from summer to the start of a new school year is NEVER an easy one.
Which is why I would allow my kids the chance to decompress on the playground, even if only for a few minutes, every day afterschool. It also gave me the chance to stop, enjoy some fresh air and help us each get into the swing of their new schedules, which usually happened around November, just in time for Thanksgiving break.
I loved whenever my kids would bring their school projects home and we have certainly collected a fair amount of holiday centerpieces over the years. My youngest was seven-years-old when she made this “Thanksgiving pretty” in class and she was very careful NOT to hand it to me.
"Wow, this is really very pretty."
[one beat, two beats]
"No it isn't!"
My daughter’s eyes filled up with tears, so I quickly tried to think of something really encouraging to say, without sounding as if I were trivializing her feelings of inadequacy and…yes…I tend to overthink stuff like this, a lot.
"Uh, yeah, it is SO pretty."
To be fair, we were in the middle of the school yard, it was the best I could do, at the time.
"But, it's not how I wanted it to be."
As the youngest of four, Hope has proved to be a walking contradiction of all the things I know (or, thought I knew) about raising kids.
"But, sweetie...my house, my friends, my family, the world...these are very wonderful things to be thankful for!"
The look on her face screamed...Nuh-uh!
See?!? Then she placed her hands on her hips: which is a clear signal that my child is about to make a very important point.
"Because, I have lots more stuff to be thankful for."
[wipes eyes in sleeve]
“But, the teacher only gave me 4 popsicle sticks!”
It may not be the most elaborate of centerpieces, but this particular school project reminded me that (as parents) we sometimes have a hard time not seeing the pretty for the popsicle sticks.
"Aaaaaaand, I think it's perfect!"
Have a Prettiful Thanksgiving, everyone :)