Back to School Memories, Advice, and a $100 Giveaway!

Are you familiar with this saying about raising children: “The days are long and the years are short”? This couldn’t be a truer description of my own parenting experience. Though they bring an indescribable amount of fun to my life, my children can exhaust me on a daily basis while the years seem to fly by so quickly.

I can’t believe I’ll be sending my baby girl –now almost 4 years old – back to pre-school again. When I think of “Back to School,” I remember those early years of starting grade school and being excited to interact with other kids. I loved to prepare my new backpack with freshly sharpened pencils, crayons, rulers and more. I also recall the annual shopping trips with my Mom to buy new clothes at the “big mall” 20 minutes from our home.

Beyond the thrill of fabulous new clothes, this trip also marked the only time all year my Mom would get on the highway with me in the car! I can still hear her nervous voice telling me to stop chattering so she could concentrate on traffic. However, my most vivid memory is of our quest for a Strawberry Shortcake lunchbox the summer before 1st grade.

This was the early 80’s and nothing was hotter than Strawberry Shortcake and her coveted lunchbox. We looked everywhere but they were all sold out. I remember feeling disappointed and thinking that if I had a Strawberry Shortcake lunchbox the transition to 1st grade would be no big deal, maybe even an exciting adventure. Yet without this commercialized tin box I’d never survive the 1st grade. In the end, just 3 days before school started, my Mom’s best friend, whose son was also entering 1st grade and desperate for a Star Wars lunchbox, found a Strawberry Shortcake lunchbox at a store. Oh the joy I felt when she pulled into the driveway to bring us the good news and the beloved lunchbox.

Twenty five years later I still remember how desperately I wanted this lunchbox and wonder if sometimes all the “stuff” really does matter. That favorite backpack, pencil case or lunch sack just might make the unknown a little more comfortable.

Starting pre-school for the first time can be hard for both parents and kids alike. Mom often has to play tough love when leaving a crying child at pre-school drop off. Kenzie was excellent at the separation. She sometimes had a few tears, but when I told her Mommy always comes back she understood I’d be returning in a few hours. However, my fearless explorer, Kyle, is a real Mama’s boy. He is only 18 months, so luckily we’ve got another year before pre-school drop off.

What do you remember best from your school years? Did anything make it easier for you or your pre-schoolers? What advice do you have to prepare Moms and kiddos for starting pre-school??

Lots of us are gearing up for school – an exciting, fun and sometimes, hectic time. Hallmark has put together this great resource to help you calm the butterflies and build your kids’ confidence. Just for joining the conversation you’ll be entered to win $500.

We’re also giving away $100 Visa Gift card to one lucky Classy Mommy Reader. Enter to win by leaving a comment below sharing a favorite back to school memory or advice to prepare either Moms or pre-schoolers with the Preschool transition by August 8th, 2009. Please include your email address so we may contact you if you win.

Disclosure: This post is sponsored by Hallmark.

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