On the First Day of School

The night before school started I painted my girls’ nails a perfect shade of pink, wrapped my heart around them extra tight, and said goodnight “just one more time.”

Then, I waited.

I waited for their whispers and giggles and I just can’t waits! to fade into the sleepy sighs of childhood.

And finally, they did.

Ever-so-quietly I laid out their clothes, matched their ribbons, and wrote their sweet nothings.

In the darkest of hours when I felt ready, my mind swirled with paperwork and supplies, backpacks and shoelaces, meals and snacks.

And my heart, it beat for loose teeth and crossed streets, old hugs and new smiles, long days and good byes.

Eventually, my tired eyes won and my worries gave way to sleep.

In the morning, just as a slice of sunshine hit the windows, the girls danced into the day with their shoulders back and smiles wide.

So I paused and looked and instantly knew- they were ready. And so was I.

Because as much as I ache to hold onto my babies, I am ever so wow-ed by my girls.

The day went by surprisingly fast and at pick up time, I was surprisingly early.

I stood and waited and searched and when I found their eyes, when they called and ran and laced their fingers with mine-I breathed them in. Twice.

That’s just what our Mothering Hearts do, isn’t it?

We lose sleep, gain worries, and shed tears until that space is full. And then, we breathe- and, in this case, let the new year come in.

Watch out Kindergarten and second grade- here they come!

I’m linking up to

Mama Kat’s pretty much world famous Writer’s Workshop.

Mama’s Losin’ It and

Deirdre’s wonderful Back to School Traditions.

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  1. I wasn’t *too* surprised that you were there early for pick-up! : ) I love those photos and that adorable gap-toothed smile.

  2. How adorable! I love that you decorated for them. That is such a fun idea!

  3. Aw, lovely Galit. I love that you laid out their clothes and wrote them sweet nothings. Such a beautiful tradition.

  4. Love love what you did to their bathroom mirror! How cute!

  5. I want to come to your place for breakfast!

  6. I love how you did this, Galit! So special for them!!

  7. lol i am too anal for lipstick on the bathroom mirror 😉
    it all goes by so fast doesn’t it?

  8. Sweetness! I love that you wrote on the mirror. Great idea:)

  9. I love all the things you put out for them! I love your pictures! I love your words! I love that you shared this post on the Back to School Traditions link up!

  10. love this so much, you are an awesome mom and this blog is the best scrapbook!

  11. Oh I LOVE that you decorated and made the day extra special. So sweet! And they’re so big!

  12. cuteness! what a nice day you made for them!

  13. Oh Galit, tears….!! Man, they are just getting big, you know?

    And to hear you describe your thoughts and your preparations for them, just wow.

    But I already suspected as much…

    Love this! Hugs to you!

  14. You’re SUCH an awesome mother. You’re kids are going to write awesome stories about YOU someday. Hope they have a great year!!

  15. How cute are they???? So sweet! It’s nice that you get just as excited as they do!

  16. I love this! Now that I am not in the classroom, with babes still too little for school, hearing your first day stories is one of my back-to-school traditions! This time of year is magic. XO!!

  17. You are such an amazing mom. Truly. I just love this.

  18. Dammit, Galit – I nearly made it all day without tearing up at “first day of school” stories.

  19. What a great idea for the first morning of back to school!
    Such a wonderful thing to do to get them excited!!

    Those back packs look so big on them!


  20. Now I am feeling REALLY bad about that Tylenol PM I took before my kids’ first day back…

    Yours are very lucky 😉

  21. You are the coolest mom ever! I would have loved to have my mirror decorated like that when I was younger!!

  22. You are the best mama ever. What a great idea writing on the mirror was! And that breakfast! Can I come stay with you for a little while! Your children are beautiful.

  23. OHHH, I love the writing on the mirror idea! I’m so going to do that next year! You’re girls look adorable, and SO excited! I’m glad they had such a great day! What a wonderful start to a brand new year!

  24. You are such a great mom to get their stuff all set up for them. I love that.

  25. Oh my gosh–the writing on the mirror!!! That is awesome. I have put notes in Principessa’s lunch box every day— (which she now expects)— but the decorated mirror? I am loving that for next year. :)

  26. I love the message on the mirror the way you laid out all their clothes. How sweet and what a way to make it exciting for them!

  27. Aww… i love the notes you wrote on the mirror. I need to file that Mommy Trick away somewhere!

  28. I love the joy you inject into everything. Just perfect!

  29. They look so excited and centered and happy! Good job, mama!

  30. I Love this post.Of course, I pretty much am wowed by everything you write. This post is close to my heart. Your words give life to my heart. Thank you for so eloquently saying what many of us were feeling.

  31. I love this! I hope they had a great first day. And writing on the mirror? Genius!

  32. Aw, how sweet. I have a Kindergartner too! I love the photos. You’re girls are sweet:)

  33. When we only have to let them go for a few hours at a time, it makes it ok. Those happy smiles tell me they were ready for some mom time again. :)

  34. Yay for your kindy & 2nd grader! I love the writing on the mirror tradition. So cool!

  35. Thanks for sharing this lovely back to school day.

    I think my favorite part of the day was that moment waiting for the girl to finish school and come out and find me. I miss that.

  36. Such a sweet start to their day! I’m sure they will never forget it.

  37. So lovely. I adore how special you make it for them. and they for you. What a wonderful family.

  38. So lovely, Galit. And the sweet nothings? A beautiful tradition.

  39. LOVE that you wrote on the mirror! Totally stashing that for our first days in the years to come!
    A beautiful tribute to growing up and letting go. Love you!

  40. Just Beautiful! I love your traditions. And everything you have written here.

    (Although when I read about the giggling and excited whispering at bedtime and it triggers some “we don’t have that because autism lives here” sadness about my boys’ very separate lives.)

    • And yet there is beauty of other kinds. I feel sad because the child who was supposed to be playmate and companion to my firstborn, 21 months younger than him, is instead delayed by her extra chromosome, and much more on a level with *her* little brother. It makes my firstborn lonely sometimes. But the relationship isn’t any less beautiful…it’s just different from what we envisioned. And when I see how he loves his little sibs, it warms my heart in a whole different way than I’d planned.

  41. I love what you did with the dresser. We have such a practical approach to these first days…except for the VERY first one, it’s business as usual around this house. I had the best intentions of making a nice breakfast, but so much Other Life intruded…it had to wait a couple of days! :)

  42. Gorgeous writing. Gorgeous girls! I, too, loved the writing on the mirror and how cute they looked as they walked with their Daddy to school. Your excitement is contagious, by the way and warms this Mama’s heart. So glad it was a good first day.

  43. Gorgeous girls and I’m so glad school went well! My baby started preschool this year. Talk about my Mothering Heart aching! But it’s been fantastic.

    Here’s to a great year. And that mirror? I’m stealing that idea!

  44. Your girls are adorable. My daughter would have loved the message on the mirror. I wish I thought of that!!

  45. This is really nice. I love that you wroe on their mirror. I hope I remember to do stuff like that when I’m a mom. Great pictures also. And your girls look so much a like :-) Stopping by from Write on Edge.

  46. I’m crying a little reading this because of moments missed and gained. Great post!

  47. I love what you did to set them up for their first day. It almost makes me wistful for my school days, but not quite! Mornings were way too early for me! Your girls are so lucky.

  48. I love seeing everyone’s “back to school” pictures. And how cute is she with that missing tooth? :)
    Don’t worry, my mom had “back to school” days with me all through college. There’s plenty more to come.

  49. What you did with the handwritten message on the mirror was so, so sweet!


    I feel you every step of the way there… the worrying, the relief, the worrying again… that’s something I could relate to every single day that I’m a mother.

    Beautifully-woven words, as always, Galit.

  50. I love how you spent the night before. Getting things ready for your kidlets first day.
    I came by way of MamaKat this time.


  51. Oh those smiles,, perfection. You are a mom much like me…I know there will be notes on bathroom mirrors and gentle tears as they walk away from me. I felt such a kinship with you as I read this, as if u wered explaining how ‘it’s done’. They had a wonderful day back!!!! Xoxo

  52. Love LOVE LOVE!!! This was so sweet and brought back so many memories….memories of the days when school was exciting and not a chore, when my boys were little and cute. Sigh. Where does the time go? You are such a blessed family. I love reading about you.



  53. “And my heart, it beat for loose teeth and crossed streets, old hugs and new smiles, long days and good byes.”
    So adorable, I know just what you mean. I already feel sad yet excited for when my girl starts school. I can’t wait to watch her learning new things, but sad that a chapter of her life will be over. I still have a little while left and I’m holding onto it for dear life.