On this first day of school

My kids started school today.

I KNOW! We start wicked early but that’s a really good thing because OHMYFREAKINGHECK do my kids need to be around some other kids.  And out of my butt hair.

Thursday was open house at their respective schools…the girls at the same elementary school and Nathaniel at *gulp* middle school.

I am blown away by my children and the awesomeness they dribble into my life every day and I am going to give them to these people for large chunks of every day and there are just things I WISH I could say to them…these teachers….the people who are going to impact the changes in my maturing babies.

So, instead of marring my children’s reputations RIGHT off the bat, I will leave my heart here.  These are the letters I would love to send their school.

nathaniel. Middle School,

Today as my son, entering sixth grade, makes his way through your halls I worry.  I worry for my boy that looks so grown-up in my eyes until I see him standing next to the gargantuan eighth-graders you apparently grow like redwoods around these parts. He looks small. He looks vulnerable. He looks so very young.  Keep him safe.  Help build in him the confidence we try to instill at home…the strength of heart to recognize the moments when standing firm against things that are wrong are most important…the love of learning that can only be fostered through challenge and encouragement.  And if you could get those eighth grade girls to maybe bind those boobs of theirs, that would be much appreciated. HOW is a boy supposed to concentrate on algebra with all that…errr…bouncing going on?

Dear Third Grade, rachael.

Please hug Rachael.  No words, no public acknowledgement means more to her than a simple hug that says “You did a good job.”  She will hold onto the memory of that hug and keep it for the moments that she is struggling.  My girl has the best laugh, but she also has the softest heart…so if you could maybe watch out for it, I would be eternally thankful.  This is the age that girls start to get mean…catty…those learned attributes that make me want to shake the pearls off some mothers.  I am trusting you to protect her as best you can, while still allowing her to stand on her own two sturdy little feet.  She’s a talkative little beast, so please be patient, I don’t know where she gets it she comes by it honestly. I hope that you are able to see the light in her beautiful eyes and laugh with her. And don’t forget the hugs.

peyton. Kindergarten,

I hope someday you understand the gift you are being given.  YOU get to teach one of the most incredible children you will ever lay eyes on. I know all parents think that, but Peyton is a very special little girl. She’s not your average kindergartner.  She has been through more in her five years than most of the teachers walking the halls will ever know.  You don’t have to handle her carefully…she’s strong.  You don’t have to worry about her…I do enough of that on my own.  She knows she’s different from most kids…not in any way she could ever define, but she knows it.  Please don’t let the kids make fun of her hair….her scars…the little differences that make her awesome. I will not be crying when I leave my girl at your door, but I will be shredded into a million little pieces inside when she walks away.  My pride in her so large it will threaten to burst. So, when I tell you I am giving you one of my most prized gifts, you’d better take care of her.  Don’t make me use my loud, grown-up voice.

Just between you and me.

Don’t tell anyone, but I’ll be watching the clock, straining towards pick-up time.

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48 Responses to On this first day of school

  1. JMom August 20, 2009 at 2:35 PM #

    Aw, your post brought tears to my eyes and I just have to leave a comment to let you know how beautiful this was. You have a beautiful family :)

  2. uppervalleymom August 10, 2009 at 11:31 AM #

    What a great post. Can't believe you guys start school so early! My kids start on Aug 31st and I'm so ready for them to go back to school, but not *ready* in the sense of new backpacks and outfits and pencils. Ugh.

    Hope everything went well for you all on your first day, and every day. Mom included!

  3. AnissaMayhew August 9, 2009 at 6:41 PM #

    AWWWWW! It's so hard to watch them go and not hover there to make sure someone smiles at them and that they are doing ok. SO HARD!! But, that big grin at the end of the day was so worth it. I sure hope you got one. javascript:%20postComment(1);

  4. AnissaMayhew August 9, 2009 at 6:40 PM #

    I know, and I totally wish I could take credit for it. LOL

  5. AnissaMayhew August 9, 2009 at 6:40 PM #

    I'll trade you an about-to-hit-puberty boy for one yummy bebe girl!! :) And see how fast it takes us to trade them back.

  6. AnissaMayhew August 9, 2009 at 6:39 PM #

    Even after just one day, they seem older and wiser and I know by the end of they year they're going to be whole different little people. It makes me sad for me and happy for them.

  7. AnissaMayhew August 9, 2009 at 6:39 PM #

    Thank you!!! I hope they remember that after I yelled at them all for having disgusting bathrooms this morning. *sigh*

  8. AnissaMayhew August 9, 2009 at 6:38 PM #

    Thank you so much!! I hope you DO write your own letters….even if you just write them and put them away to show your kids some day. And as a teacher? You get all my thanks for the work you do and I hope you always remember how important you are in the lives of the kids and parents you touch.

  9. AnissaMayhew August 9, 2009 at 6:37 PM #

    Thank you, Sandy! I hope they read it some day too.

  10. AnissaMayhew August 9, 2009 at 6:35 PM #

    Middle school gets such a bad rap, but I remember what a trough transition that year was. I hope that you get a good bunch of kids and that you know how important your job is to the parents. THANK YOU!!

  11. AnissaMayhew August 9, 2009 at 6:34 PM #

    She does. Totally! And, according to my mom, acts enough like me for her to be totally satisfied with karma.

  12. Robin August 9, 2009 at 6:33 PM #

    You really captured the words in my heart when I took my little girl for her first day of kindergarten on Friday. I never realized until then what it would be like to carve out a piece of my heart and send it out on its own to elementary school in my daughter's new pink backpack.

  13. AnissaMayhew August 9, 2009 at 6:31 PM #

    So, someday in the not-too-far future, you'll be feeling all the same things and will have to remember that it's AWESOME to see them off that first day…it's a bigger milestone to those of us with the miracle babies.

  14. agentninety9 August 7, 2009 at 6:35 PM #

    I'm all weepy and emotional now…

    • AnissaMayhew August 9, 2009 at 6:34 PM #

      LOL!! I'm sorry it made you weepy when you read it, but you should have seen me WRITING it…this post was brought to you sponsored by Kleenex.

  15. Issa August 7, 2009 at 6:05 PM #

    Oh sheesh Anissa. I came here to STOP CRYING not start again. Mine go to third grade and kindergarten in 10 days and I'm so not ready. Well, maybe I am in some ways, but not fully.

    I hope your kids had a great first day.

    • AnissaMayhew August 9, 2009 at 6:33 PM #

      The kids had an awesome first day and now that those firsts are done, hopefully each day will get easier. Mind you, the emotions wore off about fifteen minutes into the lovely peaceful silence of the day.

  16. laprimera August 7, 2009 at 5:11 PM #

    I love your post Anissa. Thanks for grabbing hold of my heart today. *looking frantically for a tissue*


    • AnissaMayhew August 9, 2009 at 6:32 PM #

      Seriously? I was a mess just writing it. True story, totally boo hoo'd after it was done.

  17. georgie August 7, 2009 at 3:34 PM #

    Our schools start next Wed-and that day is always met with sadness and glee for me…I too have a 6th grader and I feel the exact same way you do…

    • AnissaMayhew August 9, 2009 at 6:32 PM #

      I swear both my boy AND my husband's head was about to fall off during open house…for different reasons, but I know it shocked his dad to see what middle schoolers look like these days. TOO grown up.

  18. dcokequeen August 7, 2009 at 3:10 PM #

    So perfect!!! Great letters! I love them!

  19. Lolita August 7, 2009 at 2:41 PM #

    Perfect post Anissa. My baby, Jack starts Kindergarten this year — I know how you feel. Jack is a tough one too – I'm glad he'll be at the same school as his older brother — I'm willing to bet the HE'LL be the one watching out for his 2nd grade brother's back!

  20. AnissaMayhew August 7, 2009 at 2:29 PM #

    Dude, you know what this means, right? LUNCH DATES!!!

  21. Amy@Atlanta With Kid August 7, 2009 at 2:27 PM #

    Beautiful beautiful writing, Anissa. You are so talented..

    The boobs in 6th grade? Seriously? Wow! Must be all the milk they drink here. :)

    • AnissaMayhew August 9, 2009 at 6:29 PM #

      I noticed that there weren't a lot of boobs in 6th grade, but the shape? I think 6th grade is the new freshmen!

  22. AnissaMayhew August 7, 2009 at 2:21 PM #

    oh no. The cattiness is bred in them EARLY these days. Must be the hormones their mothers ate while pregnant…or the xanax

  23. AnissaMayhew August 7, 2009 at 2:21 PM #

    *blocks out thoughts of high school boobness and boy's potential reaction to them*

    LALALALALA!! I can't hear you!

  24. Briar - unwellness August 7, 2009 at 2:04 PM #

    First, I am crying from the last paragraph.

    Second, you are correct about grade 3 cattiness. I teach library grades 2-4. Second half of third grade. Catty and bratty.

    Third, those poor, poor teachers where you live. This is just unrighteously early to go back to school.

    • AnissaMayhew August 7, 2009 at 2:33 PM #

      first, I totally cried writing it. *sigh*

      Second, I hope my girl doesn't take on the catty/bratty to fit in. I remember that stuff. It's so hard.

      Third, Those teachers looked so bright-eyed this morning! I give it two weeks before they start to look like roadkill.

  25. mattnem05 August 7, 2009 at 1:17 PM #

    You know this year I am refusing to let the kids going back to school get to me, since I will be a mess next year. My two will start Kindergarten and High School next year, and its my 20 year reunion for High School, I think I'm skipping the whole 10-11 school year.

    Your right to think some of those 8th graders are scary to a 6th grader. I even find them scary for my skinny bean pole 8th grader, its especially scary at swim meats. Some look like young men while mine still is a little boy. Thankfully here, he's to busy with sports and games for girls, and the girls who have liked him in the past are now just *friends*. I'm more scared about my preschooler this year, she's been talking about marriage to her *William* way to much and kissing and wearing makeup. Thank goodness she knows there is no kissing at school, or I'd have 2 kids kicked out of the 4 year old program (both with behavior issues, one hormonal and one ADHD ugh)

    I hope your day goes quickly, and wow do you start early we still have 2 weeks left here.

    • AnissaMayhew August 7, 2009 at 2:32 PM #

      Your daughter's a hussy! and too sweet for words. Who wouldn't want to love on William?

      • mattnem05 August 7, 2009 at 2:41 PM #

        Yeah she is, and she has a think for Williams, the 1 at school who she LOVES a Will at church, I'm worried about her baby cousin Will too. Though I think we are up for our first heart break this year, I don't think her William will be back at school this year.

        She also is very fond of arranged marriages, and thoughtful of her brother, she's arranging a marriage for him and her best friend at Sunday school. Needless to say I'm scared of how she'll be at 13 (she's one of those girls with a baby in one arm and a sword in the other yelling at you as she chases you down to practice Judo moves on you- though she is an Angel at school)

  26. Nenette August 7, 2009 at 1:08 PM #

    I loved this, Anissa. And holy heck, this is early.
    Anyway, my son is going into Grade 2 in the combined Grade 1-2-3 alternative class. He's a tiny guy, and he'll probably be even smaller than many Grade 1 kids. Yet, he's such a proud and confident little man. I want them to keep him safe but not LOOK like they're trying to keep him safe.

    • AnissaMayhew August 7, 2009 at 2:30 PM #

      When they look so small all the mama bear instincts come out, don't they? But I know he's going to love making new friends and I CANNOT wait to pick them up and hear all about how the day was.

      • Umy November 25, 2012 at 12:29 AM #

        09.03.10 at 10:36 ammickNational Blokes get the House all to Themselves Day .Here is how it works. You wake up to your wife or girl drseesd in the sluttiest thing you have ever seen her in. She proceeds to blow you, then kisses you on the cheek and grabs the kids, the Mom and whoever else happens to live with you and leaves for the day. And does not come back until the next day.You are allowed to do whatever you want in your place. This includes strippers or whatever. Or you can just chill by yourself and watch ballgames all day and order pizza.The dogs are allowed to stick around provided it isn’t some shit breed like a poodle or cocker spaniel that really isn’t your dog anyway. Mastiffs, Pitbulls, Bulldogs, Mutts, Great Danes, acceptable.

  27. tena August 7, 2009 at 12:56 PM #

    Beautiful Anissa! They'll do so awesome. I have 4 more days of complaining about my kids before I turn sentimental and send my oldest to high school and youngest to preschool- but I'm living in the moment and going to go beat people up for school supplies right now.

    • AnissaMayhew August 7, 2009 at 2:30 PM #

      oh good lord! tax-free wasn't worth it to brave the swarms of people. I may do some online purchasing, tho.

  28. Midwest Mommy August 7, 2009 at 12:55 PM #

    Good luck. It will go great! I was a teacher, now that I am a parent I totally get this letter and understand where you are coming from.

    • AnissaMayhew August 7, 2009 at 2:29 PM #

      don't be too nice to me, I could cry at any moment. for real.

  29. ali August 7, 2009 at 12:47 PM #

    I hope they have GREAT first days!
    this was such a fantastic post, lady. I know I'll be the same way on monday….so excited for them to start school, but excited for them to come home to me!

    although I am excited to have a nap and get a wax ;)

  30. Havalah August 7, 2009 at 12:46 PM #


    • AnissaMayhew August 7, 2009 at 2:28 PM #

      Ok, you're comment is so sweet. SO SWEET.

      But I'm totally cracking up because of the space bar thing! LOL

  31. Tanya Hoven August 7, 2009 at 12:05 PM #

    So beautiful. Lily is going into kindergarten this year also and I feel the same way. She knows she's different – the little differences that make her awesome. I don't plan on crying but my heart will shred like yours because it's hard to let them go when you've been through so much together. Thanks for putting my feelings into words! : )

    • AnissaMayhew August 7, 2009 at 2:28 PM #

      I won't even lie, I had a few sniffles in the van…but I was doing ok until I saw another mom boohooing…so NOTE: DO NOT MAKE EYE CONTACT with the other parents. K?

  32. Eileen August 7, 2009 at 11:49 AM #

    Just so beautiful.

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