I shared these Watercolor Marble Glasses last week, and while they are a back-to-school teacher gift, they’re also a reminder that we need to support our schools. I added a few things in each mug as self-care for our teachers (and yes, I even added a candy bar- we all have those days!), but more than that, I added some supplies that can be scarce in the classroom. Glue sticks, unbroken crayons, paint trays, and a roll of paper towels can go a long way towards telling the people who are shaping your child’s mind that you care about them!
Be invested, as much as you can, in your child’s classroom. I don’t always have time to volunteer, but I can definitely add a bottle of hand sanitizer for the class, or an extra box of tissues for the teacher’s desk to Addie’s backpack a few times a year. It’s all about the little things adding up. Showing your child that grand gestures are certainly appreciated, but so are the everyday things that help build and maintain the community surrounding us.
Get the look:
Clothes can do so much for a person- starting from a young age. I love that Second Star Kids knows that, and uses the best fabrics to give kids (and adults- awesome pants coming soon for me!!!) the opportunity to express their style!
As we’ve discussed, clothes can be hard to get just right for Addie. There are a lot of “tips” circulating in our community suggesting cropped pants be used as pants, or rolling the sleeves and pant legs up, but this is not a simple solution. I have to say that cropped pants as long pants on children with dwarfism aren’t always the way to go. They are just a bit too short- which cuts right before a full-length pant and really isn’t the most flattering style- and for Addie, leads to a lot of pulling and yanking down. And rolling everything? Well, that can get rather bulky and thus hard to move in. Of course looks aren’t everything, but Addie does want to wear what everyone else is- that’s a part of learning identity, personal likes and dislikes, and becoming a part of her peer group.
This leaves me with an opportunity to be both creative AND tap into my friends’ creativity! Above, you will see jeans that I found that are not too thin to not give some warmth in chilly weather, but are not too thick that rolling them gives bulk. I love a wide-cuff for it’s fashion nod, but also because this means we can pass the jeans down to Millie, or another friend, when Addie grows out of them! They are a basic Old Navy jean, with an adjustable waist- a must have for getting pants up over the Worth Hips and then cinching the small waist (thanks, mom). But… not every jean lends itself to rolling- so we have to be cautious.
Even more amazing: Addie got to start her first day off in the most beautiful outfit, all handmade, by Second Star Kids owner Bethany. There is no best part about Second Star clothes, because they’re all unique designs, custom organic fabrics, and can be made to fit if needed! I sent Addie’s measurements to Bethany and she created a masterpiece for her- the perfect combination of print and solid in bamboo fabrics- ready for school, play, and to show off her fashionista side. (And ordered a 2t Fall patterned dress for Millie… be on the lookout for that this October!)
Sending Addie to school in clothes that are chosen by her and made for comfort (her biggest love: not having to pull her shirt down over her belly!) AND design means that she doesn’t stand out in ways she doesn’t desire. She loves to talk about the books she read, her friends who got really excited about the pony toys and how the playground is different this year from last. I love that she is confident in herself, and proud of her choices. How perfect to put something on her body and go out the door.
…the days where she pushes her arms and legs through her clothes and I hear that slow rumble in her throat. The words spit through her teeth: It’s too big. Or worse: I am too small. Come out, low. In a rumble. I feel like I haven’t provided her the correct items for her comfort. For this reason, I pre-roll sleeves where I have the foresight and, when I can, we have beautiful items made- that I can even mix and match, or add a sweater to for the Fall weather, and we provide a wardrobe where she doesn’t question her body.
Freeze the memories:
I want to take a million photos and share them all. I want to tell everyone how proud I am to watch her walk into school, which I did today for the last first day of preschool, and not even turn to say goodbye to me. She will run for me when I come to pick up, but she doesn’t need to wonder if I’m there- she knows there are tears in my eyes. She’s seen all the emotions, clearly written across my face and understood by her old soul, to represent my happiness, my inability to let go, how proud I am of her, and how the future is so bright, yet somewhat worrisome for me.
But more than that, I want to preserve it.
I asked my friend if she minded making me one of the signs she made for her own kids… and, lo and behold, she told me she had an etsy store now for Three Sister Creations! She asked me specifics about Addie’s likes and goals and even wanted to make sure we got the hair color right (how many times do I ask myself if she is blond or brunette!?). And so… on her last first day of preschool, we made another memory. To be shared. To be savored. To be passed down to future generations in the great debate of what child in the family looks like which family member.
We will laugh at all the things she used to love and all the things that are now favorites, as she moves through her school years… and maybe, just maybe, when she is an award-winning scientist who has a penchant for art and has even sold a few pieces in her private gallery, we will look back on this school year and smile.
She’s always known who she was and what she wanted.
So, here we are. Back in the swing as we enter the back-to-school month of September. There is a new groove, new routines and new adjustments. But we are taking it all in stride. The most important thing is that there are brains in her head and feet in her shoes, and she’s got the drive to go in any direction she may choose.
What are your must-haves for back to school?