About a week before school started this fall, I began planning my daughter’s first day back. Outfits, breakfast, lunch, and pictures (shocking, huh?) In looking over the pictures I took last year, I felt like I really captured the feelings of a child going into a new grade. That mildly apprehensive, yet excited feeling that a 6 year old has about becoming a first grader. While I love the photos, I sadly noticed the complete lack of me. Since I’m always behind the camera, I don’t get the opportunity to experience and enjoy the first day of school with my kids.
I’m not alone, am I? There are hundreds, if not thousands of moms out there that don’t get to fully be there with their kids on the first day of school. We’re too busy trying to remember if we packed everything and if all the kids are in the car. And, on top of that, we’re trying to take pictures of their first day.
You know what? This is not okay. So I did something about it.
I launched back to school sessions purely out of my need to give other moms the freedom to put down their camera and enjoy the day. And guess what? THEY WERE FANTASTIC! I got so much joy out of following families around on their first day of school. I just wish I had done these sooner. Next year they will be back, and I promise to announce them much earlier. :)
And with that, I give you the Taylor family. When I look at these pictures I think to myself, this is what it’s all about. We live for our kids. We wake them up, we help them dress, we feed them breakfast, brush their teeth, comb their hair, pack their lunches, and take them to school.
Yes, the mornings are chaotic, but they’re incredible at the same time. Sometimes it just takes someone else to show you.
When I arrived at the Taylor home, their youngest was still asleep. I got to witness the magic of motherhood as his mom opened one blind after the other. Slowly her late sleeper woke and proceeded with his day. I felt like I hit the jackpot! Bedhead? Getting dressed while half asleep? Mom swooping in to give one last go around with the toothbrush? Every moment is wonderful. And all fill my heart.
We joked about the picture below with dad doing the dishes… apparently it wasn’t his turn. In true little brother harassment fashion, he quickly pointed out that it was his sisters turn to empty the dishwasher. Aren’t little brothers helpful?!
In the picture above, he’s covering his ears because his sister loooooves to sing. But it’s not her voice that bothers him, it’s the fact that she likes to take pop songs and sing them as elevator music. Haha! And with that, the brother-sister harassment goes full circle.
Ahhh… the walk into school. This pictures says so much to me. The bustle of the first day. Families scurrying from one place to the next. The long walk to a new classroom. Mom encouraging the youngest. Dad and the oldest hold hands and walk in silence. There is such beauty in the simplicity of this moment.
Don’t get me started about the send off hug above. She’s in 5th grade. It’s her last year at this school. Her dad’s kiss on the head says it all.
Below, it’s time to navigate the hallway to find his classroom. This is the big time. No more short days or separate playgrounds. He is officially in 1st grade.
Many of you saw the image above on the left on my Facebook page. They were waiting in line outside his classroom. He’s holding his dad’s hand while his mom’s hand rests gently on his head. If I had one picture of me and my kids on their first day of school, it would be this. It actually hurts my heart a little.
The walk back to the car seems quite a bit longer with no kids in tow. And it’s a bit freeing, too. ;)
For years they’ve had Ben help them cross the street. He’s loved so much by the community that people seem to look out for him as much as he does for them.
Now I’m feeling all sentimental for my own kids’ first days of school. Anyone out there want to follow me around next fall? Crazy #2 will be starting kindergarten. It promises to be entertaining. ;)
Big giant hugs to you all!