The day has come. Emotionally, I’m not ready, but he is and his excitement helps. Rowan loves to learn. He is inquisitive, creative, and perceptive. He will do fine and I will be okay. Each new milestone is another reminder that much of my job is preparing them so that I can let go. Being a parent is tough.
As a parent, it is my job to make sure Rowan enjoys learning, is challenged in his academics, and that I teach and share those important life lessons so he grows into a morally strong gentleman.
On the first day of school, my job is a bit different. I get him excited, motivate him, but also share my thanks and good luck with his teachers. The first day is a time to celebrate the work our teachers do. So I pulled up Pinterest and did my research. I decided to go ‘old school’ with our teacher gifts this year and give the teachers an apple . . . only, we jazzed it up a bit with my favorite caramel sauce and some adorable packaging. We jazzed up our whole momma day with fun back to school activities that had me wanting to go back to school!
Here is what you need:
- Jelly jars 12
- Apples 12
- Ribbon – 2 spools
- Caramel (recipe below makes 12)
Homemade Caramel Sauce
- 2 sticks unsalted butter
- 3/4 cup honey
- 1 cup packed brown sugar ( I used dark)
- 2 14oz cans condensed milk
Whisk the butter, honey, and brown sugar together over high heat until boiling. Let boil for two minutes, stirring constantly. After two minutes, remove from heat and add the condensed milk. Stir to combine. Mixture will thicken.
Once your caramel has cooled, use a ladle to fill jelly jars and close up tight. Place a jelly jar into your cellophane bag, top with an apple, and tie closed with your ribbon of choice. Rowan selected a star pattern that he thought was a good ‘school’ option.
Add a note for extra cuteness. Then of course have an apple to test your treat. I was so excited to taste test, I forgot to take a picture of our treat. Trust us, the teachers will be giving you an A+ on this snack.
We have never really started a momma day with our snack before. I will consider it energy for the back to school shopping that followed. Back to school shopping was always so much fun for me and I was really looking forward to sharing this school memory with Rowan; however, he had no interest in anything but a new pair of shoes. So we quickly picked up some supplies, some new clothes, and finished with awesome, new shoes. Rowan insisted on new tennis shoes that have a spring in the bottom (for decoration – and/or a marketing ploy for small kids) because he was convinced they would help him jump even higher. I gave in because this one pair of shoes brought him the back to school excitement I got from shopping with my mom all those years ago. Plus, they were pretty cool.
As much as I love the shopping time with my boys, I anticipated our return home and our momma day craft project. This craft was all about memory marking and may just be the easiest craft you will ever do. No typo here, I really meant marking. With Rowan starting kindergarten, I wanted a project that would track his growth by school year. By the time he graduates I will see how his little boy hands have grown up. The best part is the small list of materials: a piece of cardstock paper, a pencil, a hole punch, one single binder ring, and a few minutes of time.
Trace your child’s hand on a fun, colorful piece of cardstock paper. Cut out the handprint, add a single whole punch in the palm, write their grade and age on the back of each print and add to the binder ring. Each year add the new handprint to watch them grow and mark the memory. How simple is that!
A final, also simple, project finished our day. Little man fell asleep and Rowan and I prepared his first day sign. Everyone needs a great sign. Well, you don’t need a sign, but it is the easiest way to take a picture and mark another milestone. I outlined the letters and he colored them in. We talked about school while we worked and it is a memory I will always remember. The conversation was simple, nothing very memorable, but he opened up with me, asked me questions, and answered a few of mine. I jotted down his answers and will add them to his baby book.
Add the answers to your sign and add the picture to your 365 day memory bins. Another way I absolutely love to capture moments that otherwise would pass me by. Check out my how to by clicking the link.
I will continue to share my favorite projects right here for you. Not all of my projects work out. I have some Pinterest bloopers myself. I suppose there is a ‘Nailed It’ post in my future. For now though, let me get through this week and this first day. A part of me wanted him to be a little apprehensive – to need me, but deep down when he took off up that hill, I knew he was ready. I know that big things await him and this is only one small step towards a very bright future! Go Rowan!!