Parenting

To my Grade 1 son

Is your house too quiet on this first day of back to school? Our SAHM blogger reflects on her son's first day of Grade 1.

Since school let out, I’d be lying if I didn’t say that I was dreading the summer and looking forward to today, your first day of Grade 1.

The noise and constant motion of a five-year-old boy are sometimes too much for this stay-at-home mom to handle, and I constantly plotted ways to tire you out or find quiet activities for you to play. Even simply playing Lego was noisy — with you either shooting imaginary bad guys with laser beams or singing “Pumped Up Kicks” at the top of your lungs.

But now that you’re on the school bus, our house is awfully quiet, and even your baby sister, who tormented you by stealing your favourite Hot Wheels car the second you walked out the door, is lonely. We all miss your energetic you. Yes, I miss the same energy I tried to channel this summer by teaching you to climb trees, cross the monkey bars and look for minnows under water with your favourite snorkeling mask. Swimming lessons, golf lessons, summer camp, bike rides, running races, beach days, tag and that annoying Grounders game the older kids taught you in June: No game or activity was any match for your relentless enthusiasm.

Even after a full day of pioneer camp, topped off with hours of swimming and trampoline jumping with a friend, you came home just as excited and ready to go fishing with your dad or for a bike ride with me. Meanwhile, I’m mush brained from a day of laundry and the monotony of being a SAHM and you, forever thinking and inventing ways of making bedtime just a little later. One more glass of milk and one more story. Right up until the second your fall asleep, you are always thinking and moving and talking.

But as you start school, this year full day, every day, my biggest worry isn’t if you’ll have the energy to get through the day (because I’m sure you will), or if you’ll tell me about your day (that is guaranteed), but it’s if I’ve done all that I could to prepare you for today — because I know Grade One is a different world that Kindergarten and I’m worried that you won’t be ready.

Over the summer I was supposed to help you master cutting and pasting and making sure you write your name in a straight line, but we were too busy playing. Instead of perfecting your numbers and letters, through that same play we taught you kindness, honesty, respect and curiosity — all traits I hope that you take into the classroom. This first day of Grade 1 seems bigger to me than your first day of Kindergarten because I feel like it’s the first day you start making bigger independent steps away from me, your dad and your sister. In my heart I know that you are ready — but I also know I’m not.

How about you? Is your house too quiet on this first day of back to school?