I wish I could pause time. The sweet season of warm, sun-drenched windows, early morning pool parties, swimming lessons, picnics for every meal, bare feet and bonfires…it all came and went in what felt like the blink of an eye! If there is one thing Andrew and I crave more of it is time: time with each other, time with the kids, time in general.
This fall our daughter, Elliott, started preschool at a new school and it was a decision that Andrew and I took great care in making. We toured several options but every time we came back to this school, we all felt at ease. Like the release of a deep breath you didn’t know you were holding in kind of ease. It’s a transition that I thought would be much harder on all of us (okay, me) as she’s now attending school 5 (half) days per week, wearing uniforms and surrounded by 600 new kids whose ages span from preschoolers to high school seniors, some living down the road and others who board. While it really shouldn’t have been terribly surprising to any of us, sister was READY. As mom and dad geared up for our very first goodbye of the school year, she hung up her backpack for her very first time – yet made it look like the hundredth – gave us each a quick hug and kiss and marched into the classroom like the confident little thing she is. That was it. As a parent there are so many milestones that feel so bittersweet and this is just one of them and we could not be prouder of our sweet girl.
With school starting, we have adopted new routines to help everyone ease into it and one of our new routines has been having Elliott participate in packing her lunch box. I absolutely treasure this special time with her! We use a bento-box and she thoughtfully places her food in all the compartments. I’ve found if I let her actively participate in planning the next day – whether it is selecting her uniform combination or something as small as choosing between the trail mix or the granola bites (recipe below)– it gives her a sense of independence and ownership over the next day.
We also love to read a book or two before bed and lately, our book of choice has been Oh the Places You’ll Go by Dr. Seuss. Below are two of my favorite quotes from it:
“So be sure when you step. Step with great care and great tact and remember that Life’s a Great Balancing Act. Just never forget to be dexterous and deft. And never mix your right foot with your left. And will you succeed? Yes! You will indeed! (98 and 3/4 percent guaranteed.) KID, YOU’LL MOVE MOUNTAINS!”
“You’re off to great places, Today is your day! Your mountain is waiting, So…get on your way!”
As I sign off, we are preparing to take off for Italy to celebrate Andrew’s milestone birthday. Stay tuned as in the next newsletter I will share photos and details on where we went, what we ate – and of course drank – with some of our best friends in one of the most famous wine regions in the world. Cheers to 50, babe! It looks really great on you!
– Courtney Browne, Proprietor