Our First Day of School Traditions - Polk County Moms
Matthew's first day of school pictures

Can you believe school is already here? This year I have a middle schooler and that blows my mind. All of a sudden my small child isn’t that small. I want to be able to look back and remember different stages in his life growing up. A lot of the traditions I created are based around that simple idea – I want a snapshot of that moment in time. 

I started taking a picture on the first day of school when my son was two and entering daycare. His backpack was almost as big as he was and we had no idea what we were doing. Every year since then we take a picture at the front door before heading to school. These pictures remind me of all the little things that tend to fade from memory over the years. When he was 2 his obsession was Thomas the Train and all his school supplies were Thomas themed. At 4 it was all about the Transformers, at 6 it was all about Spiderman and at 9 he was fascinated by space. This year all he wanted was a black backpack and my heart broke a little. Gone are the fun themes for school supplies as well but I will remember that when I look at the pictures from this school year. 

When I look at my son I don’t really notice all the changes to his physical appearance. When I see the pictures I notice all the little details that have changed over the years. I see how much he grew every year, his hairstyle and even his posing style is different every year. It’s fun to see how much changes and how much stays the same. One thing I noticed about the pictures is how his first sign was a quickly drawn hand sign and the signs became more elaborate over the years. This year I bought a sign on Amazon to use. I guess maybe I am growing up too! 

Another tradition we have is to let him pick out what we have for dinner on the first day of school. It is usually an easy afternoon and night. For the entire week, we do something fun – even if it is only 30 minutes. One night we may play a board game or make a dessert or even go out just for dessert. Being back in school after months off is stressful and my goal is to make it fun for all of us as we readjust.

I encourage you to take a snapshot on the first day. It doesn’t have to be elaborate or complicated. Just a simple photo so, later on, you can look back together on these hectic school days. 



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