The Middle

Amelia Kindergarten

My “baby” on her first day of kindergarten, 2011.

Both my girls will be middle schoolers this August. How did that happen? Wasn’t I just filling out kindergarten forms and attending school open house for new parents? We’re also about to have a teenager in the house, although it seems that 12 is the new 13 or 16 or possibly 18.

My latest post for the Monroe Carell Jr. Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt Wishing Well Blog is all about the simple things I’ll miss about the sweet elementary school years.

A few other takeaways from me to any other parents of elementary school kids as we close the door on this chapter and embrace the middle…

3 Ways To Treasure Your Child’s Elementary School Years

Volunteer. No, you don’t have to be room mom or on the PTO, but if you have time to volunteer or chaperone field trips, do it! You will absolutely never regret it. I’ll never regret the time I spent going on field trips to our favorite pumpkin patch with both girls, working on Friday’s in my older daughter’s kindergarten classroom, or putting together silent auction baskets. This past year I didn’t volunteer at all, but during my girls’ early years of elementary school I tried to donate as much of my time as I could.

Make Lunch Dates. Some of my fondest memories of my girls’ school years have been sitting down with them in those tiny elementary school plastic chairs and eating lunch with them in the cafeteria or school courtyard. It’s also a great way to get to know their friends. And also embarrass them (this comes during the later elementary school years to prepare you for what’s coming…when just the mere act of you breathing while on middle school property is a aberration. During the early school years you can do no wrong. You are the keeper of snacks and hugs. You rock. Later you will pretty much suck to your middle schooler. Get ready.)

Take Those Pictures. Yep. This one is a no brainer, but there are moments you will want to document. While I’m not an uber gung-ho Pinterest mom, I do always take a photo of my girls on the first day AND last day of school as it’s a great way to see just how much they’ve changed during the school year. And no I don’t print them out. Ya’ll that’s just too Pinterest mom for me. (Ha!)

What elementary school traditions do you have to help treasure those years?

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