They’ll survive


We have back to school traditions in our house, as I’m sure many of you do in yours. Our traditional breakfast is either chocolate chip pancakes or waffles. The kiddos chose the latter this year.

We also have a tradition of the kids getting a gift on the first day. One year, it was all their school supplies in decorated bags, another year everyone got a special T-shirt.

But this year’s first day of school was complicated by an even bigger event – Warner’s birthday. We also have a tradition of decorating the dining room for each child’s birthday. I make a sign each year with special qualities each child possesses, corresponding with their age. This year, it was “7 things we love about Warner.” Plus, I was working from home Tuesday night. So, there was a whole lot going on.

I hadn’t gotten any first day gifts together, but hoped it would be overlooked with the excitement of Warner’s birthday. He was thrilled to be going to his first day of first grade on his birthday!

Sylvia wasn’t up five minutes before I heard: “Mom, what happened? You always get us a gift on the first day of school!”


I apologized, but felt so guilty. That afternoon, I was racking my brain trying to come up with something … Definitely not a toy. We’re trying to weed some of those out before my husband makes good on his threat to back a dump truck up to the basement and start loading. They don’t need any more clothes, either.

Finally, I thought about a back to school survival kit. Chewing gum would be good, I thought, because it could symbolize “sticking with it.” But what else?

I drew a blank, as I tend to do when I’m really short on time and have to come up with something. So I did what any mom in today’s world does, I turned to Pinterest. Of course, there were ideas galore!

I scrolled through several and compiled my unique back to school survival kit. In addition to the gum it had:

–Gatorade: To remind you to thirst for knowledge.

–Mints: Because you are worth a mint.

–Candy kisses: Because everybody needs a hug and a kiss each day.

–Glow stick: To remind you to share your bright ideas.

–Notebook: To record all your wonderful memories this year.

–Clip: To remind you we all need help holding it together.

–Starburst: To remind you you’re always a star to us!

–Pop Rocks: Because you ROCK!

The kids got a kick out of it, with Hays commenting, “That’s pretty good, Mom!” as he read the list.

Whew. It was a close call, but thanks to the survival kits I managed to survive the first and second days of the new school year!


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