I’ve Been Here Before


kidYesterday my oldest daughter got up early and did a trial run of the morning school routine. In a housecoat with coffee in hand, I watched her test out her planned schedule such as how effective it was to lay out her school clothes and how long it took her dress, eat and brush teeth. All she needed was a clipboard and stopwatch, and this breakfast-theatre would be complete.

Can you tell she was excited to go back to school?

At almost 7 years old, today was Isabelle’s first day in Grade 2 {and in case you’re wondering, the morning went seamlessly well}. Believe me, I smile {and do a little dance} at the thought of back-to-school – yet this morning surprisingly made me really sad.

She’s now in Grade 2 – so I’ve been here before, going through the much anticipated first-day, a few times already. Yet this was the first time she got ready for her first day, all by herself. In fact, Isabelle didn’t need me for anything but to drive the van to our destination. When did all this happen?

Our walk from the van to the school consisted of dirty looks each time I took a photo {I admit, I didn’t need 50 photos. Maybe}. And, she wouldn’t let me hold her hand along the way.

When we entered her classroom, she saw only a couple friends from her Grade 1 class. I could see her confidence diminish, a look of fear on her face. She sat down in her seat and hunched over in disappointment. Wanting to ease her discomfort, I started chatting with some kids nearby and including my daughter in the conversation. Isabelle immediately perked up, giving me a look of relief, that told me that she would be ok.


Before I started to leave her side, I resisted the urge to cover her in kisses. Instead, I stood and looked once again at the growing and independent child that was no longer my baby.

Again, that smile that has melted my heart many times over caught my eyes.
“Mom…. I really love you”, she said and not even caring that so many ears were listening.

Yes, I’ve been here before. But it never gets easier.



  1. Awww…that is so sweet! She looks so cute for her first day. I can only imagine how you felt. We are just starting kindergarten in this house, which is emotional enough for me 😉

  2. So sweet!! I loved reading your post. I always say how excited I am that my kids are going back to school, but this year, my youngest starts and I think it will be the hardest!!

  3. That is so beautiful Tammi! I have yet to experience this… at 3 mine already rarely wants to hold my hand 🙁 Very sad.

    I’m glad to hear however that “I love You’s” still come.

    Enjoy the school year Isabelle!!

  4. Aww! Reading this post gives me hope that I’ll survive when the time comes for my little ones to go off to school. For now, I’ll hold them close and pretend they’ll be 1 and 3 forever!

  5. This post made me want to cry. She looks like a mini you! In one way grown up, in another like a little girl wanting to be independent.

    Mica started kindergarten a few weeks ago. He’s already had girlfriend issues. He said he had one. He refused to tell her because some girl in his preschool class liked him. He said that if the girl in preschool found out she might get “cross” with him. Then he was upset the next day that a little boy was trying to steel his new like from him! I’ve never encourage this. I was happy he was talking to me freely. I told him that he was not allowed to have a girlfriend until he was 16. LOL

    I have been a little sad because Mica’s kindergarten teacher found a lump on her breast. It’s her first year teaching kindergarten. She’s been teaching 1st grade for years. I don’t even know her, but feel so bad for her. I want to give her a hug. Mica drew her a get well card last night that. He drew her as a princess.

    Now Isaak started preschool next week! I wonder what drama will he bring to the table?

    1. Oh my – that’s terrible, Alissa. I feel terrible for her too, what a scary thing to go through! And, what a kind soul your son is for making her a card – such compassion!

      on a side note, I hear ya on the BF/GF – my daughter has a new BF every recess!!

  6. om my goodness..she is a gorgeous little girlie! 🙂 my son is of to HIGH School..:( sniff sniff..and I am so sad,nervous,terrified for him..:( He has already warned me “NO PICTURES INSIDE THIS SCHOOL” either! haha But high school in grade 7?..Its crazy! 🙁 I will defaintely be taking a picture of him BEFORE he gets to school..:)

  7. Aw, man, you’ve got ME tearing up! LOL
    What a beautiful young lady you’ve raised-I have no doubt that she’s going to own that Grade 2 before long 🙂

    1. Awe – that is so sweet, Kayla.
      That is exactly right, they’ll be eating out of her hands in no time! lol

  8. My oldest ,Payton, is in second grade also. K and first grade he didn’t mind me @ school, he actually wanted me there. But when he started school this year he didn’t even want me to take him instead he wanted to ride with his Aunt. If i go out to school he will ask me “why i am there”? i mean come on. But it makes very proud of the young man I’m raising when i see his teachers and other teachers from school and they tell me he is the sweetest child they have known. They often say he opens doors for them and gives hugs everyday. Plus he makes all A’s. It feels me with joy to hear this about him, that he does respect, morals, and a big heart.

  9. As I read this I thought of my little boys… My oldest is a 5th grader and my youngest is in Kindergarten… The day my oldest son got ready all by himself for the first time was so emotional for me as well…he wakes up before I do now… just because… I don’t know what Ill do when my little one hits that point… sigh…. its hard watching them grow up…

  10. each first time for your child is great but a little fearful; she seems very grown up and I’m
    sure she will do just fine. It is hard to let go.


  11. So adorable! Brings back so many memories for me. I will be seeing this all again in a few years but with a Granddaughter!

  12. I think girls are so much more enthusiastic when it comes to the first day, boys can be too, they just don’t always want to show it. lol

  13. I’ve been through this five times each year for many years and it doesn’t get easier. That knot in your tummy the first day of school only leaves when they come home and announce that the teacher is ‘nice’ and they like school.

  14. I could never really relax the first day of school until all my five children came home from school and announced that they liked their teacher. It is harder to let the younger ones go but Mothers want to hear that all their children are happy in school.

  15. Love this – and you will always have been there before..no matter what moment of their life..and it is still just as fabulous when they are older. =)

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