Autumn is a special time. Kids head back to school, activities and commitments switch back into high gear and the weather makes a decided shift towards cooler, shorter days. I feel like it became fall overnight. We went from hot, dry days to a decided chill in the evening air.
As the seasons change, some parents find that such a marked passage of time makes us feel nostalgic and perhaps sad to send our kids off to school.
The start of this school year was a new experience for us. All of my children are now in some type of school. This is the first time I have had any regular child-free stretches of time in the last nine years. So instead of being sad that my baby is off to preschool, I have to admit it was exciting for me.
My son, Dawson, 9, started a new school this fall. Violet, 5, is back at the same school she attended last year but now Eleanor, 3, has joined her. We shopped for school supplies, new clothes and of course participated in the back-to-school events at both schools.
Being the youngest, Eleanor has wanted to go to school for quite some time. She has watched the other two go off to school and longed to go with them. This is finally her year.
Eleanor went to her school open house, met her teacher and explored her classroom. After visiting Eleanor’s class, we stopped to talk to Violet’s teacher. Eleanor pulled out a puzzle, did it by herself and put it away. She was so proud that she did a somersault in the middle of the classroom to celebrate.
“Well, that’s a (school) first,” Violet’s teacher said.
I assured her that my busy baby would probably accomplish several firsts.
Rachel Anderson of Port Angeles picked up her sons Nathan, 11, and Isaac, 8, from their first day of school. And, of course, she asked what every parent wants to know: “How was your first day?”
“I had a cupcake,” Nathan said.
“Can I have a baby gerbil,” Isaac asked. “The class pets had babies.”
“For the record, Nathan had a cupcake because it was a classmate’s birthday,” Rachel said. “Also, a firm ‘no’ on the gerbil.”
After the first day of school, Kortny Shawver of Poulsbo and her son Collett, 6, were walking out to the car when Collett spotted the new principal and yelled “hey.” The principal came over to talk to Collett and asked how his first day was.
“It was great,” he said. “I have the brand new teacher and she doesn’t know the rules yet, so we just get to color and play all day and no work!”
The principal laughed, Kortny nodded and quickly made her way to the car.
Halen, 5, told his mother, Candace Mangold, about his day at school.
“We had a hair stare at school today,” he said.
“A what,” she asked. “A hand stand?”
“No, a hair stare,” he said. “Like, you stand in line, be quiet and stare at people’s hair.”
Connor, 6, kept asking his mother Amelia Phillips, of Mahomet, Illinois, what they were doing.
“We’re going with the flow,” Amelia said, frustrated.
“Where’s the flow,” Connor asked.
Connor was learning his sight words in kindergarten. Amelia made a big deal that “on” was in his name. So he went to school the next day and was proud to tell his teacher that “off” was in his name.
When Amelia was born, her older brother, Andy, who was about 6, proudly told his class about his new baby sister. One of the boys in his class went home and told his parents that Andy had a new little sister and her name was “a million” or “a thousand.”
I would love to hear your funny kid stories, so please send them my way. Parents, teachers, grandparents, aunts, uncles, and people who love children, please send your stories and cute kid photos to firstname.lastname@example.org. I look forward to hearing from you.
— Quinn Ward is a former journalist living in Poulsbo. She has been recording the amazing and outrageous things her kids say since they have been able to talk.