Monday, September 3, 2007

Back to School!

This week, children all over America will be donning backpacks and heading off to the first day of a new school year. My daughter Francesca has been lamenting the end of her summer vacation since August 1st, while I’ve been equally insistent that 5th grade will be exciting and…fun!

However, I have one small confession to make: I’m as rueful as Francesca is about the shift to the busier, more stressful school year routine. After three months of leisurely summer living, the first day of class can be just as difficult for those of us who aren’t actually going back to school as it is for our children. The start of the school year also marks an emotional transition. The combination of the full school day and after school activities means less time is spent as a family.

One way to make the transition a little smoother can be found in making your child’s lunch box. Packing a lunch ensures that your child or children are eating healthy and wholesome foods at school; and it also fosters a closer connection between the two of you.

When my older daughter Alessandra was in school I would often put a little note in her lunch bag. And even though Alessandra rolled her eyes at this little ritual as she got older, she still has all the notes from her kindergarten lunches.

Especially during the wintertime, the school year can feel like a slog. But think of it this way: if we didn’t have those nine months of work, we wouldn’t enjoy our three months of play nearly as much!

Have a great first day!

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