Friedrich Fröbel coined the phrase kindergarten, which literally means “a child’s garden.”
Here we are in a new and exciting school year. As parents, these are among the most stressful days of the year. We’re shopping for school clothes, packing lunches, backpacks, planning logistics, and then there’s the dreaded school supply list. We must learn the traffic patterns for dropping off our children in the morning, the policies for walking our students to class, and the traffic patterns for picking them up in the afternoon at the end of the school day.
As trying as all this is for parents, for our children, it is a completely different story. For them, these are some of the most exciting days of their lives. These days indeed hold much opportunity for us as parents.
From the moment we pick them up, either from school or after-school care, our attention should be on our children, not talking on the phone, texting or worrying about something in the corporate world that we have no control over at the moment. As we arrive home our children will certainly be excited to recount the entire events of the day. These first few moments with your child are just as important for your child as the first few moments of the school day with his or her new teacher.
This should be a wonderful experience for both you and your child. These few moments you share with your child about his or her first day of school are imperative as they set the pace for the rest of the school year. Embrace this opportunity. Delight in the moment. After your child recounts, in a whirlwind, the entire events of the day, he or she, after all, will be off on yet another new adventure.
We live in a complicated and complex world. A world our children are attempting to make sense of on a daily basis. These are the first days of school. Our children have had a tough and exciting day attempting to navigate these uncharted waters of kindergarten, elementary school and childhood.
Take a few minutes and delight in the moment when they return home to you. Embrace this moment. Cherish this moment. Relish this moment. Then, you can take a deep breath and uncork that bottle of cabernet sauvignon or fix that extra dry vodka martini or pack up the bags and head out to soccer, football, dance, cheerleading or taekwondo practice.
These moments you spend with your child are invaluable. I guarantee it.
Luther Thomas Wood is a resident of Fort Mill.