Letter From Katie — First Day of School: You Will Survive

Last year we experienced our first “First Day of School.” My daughter began kindergarten and it was an emotional day… for me. She was fine.

My mind raced with “first-day jitters.” Would she get lost in that big school? Would she make friends quickly? Would her teacher understand how special my precious little girl is and treat her accordingly?

My 5-year-old marched into that building wearing her Wonder Woman backpack and waved goodbye without a second thought.

I remember thinking how small she looked next to the “big kids” of the fifth grade. And I remember picking her up that afternoon and thinking she suddenly looked like a “big kid” herself.

This August has a whole new crew of “first-timers” hovering outside the doors of elementary schools, feeling those same anxieties I had last year. I don’t have all the answers, but I do have one: You will survive this day.

It’s a difficult transition for the whole family when a child starts school. But instead of stressing about the things that could go wrong, try to focus on the opportunities your child now has.

Your child is going to come home every day with new skills and bits of knowledge. My daughter would sit at the dinner table and share with us tidbits such as “the Mayflower had 102 passengers” or “ladybugs like to eat aphids.”

If you are anxious about the school environment, my advice is to get involved as much as you can. Ask about volunteer opportunities in the classroom. Let the PTA leaders know your name. Trade phone numbers with other parents.

It’s hard letting go of each phase of childhood.

What lies ahead may seem daunting, but I promise that most of us make it through.

(Check out Page 4 for advice from other parents on having a successful First Day of School.)