From Daddy on your First Day of School… Ever

This only happens once. In your lifetime.

Tonight both of you are going to bed after a warm bath, maybe some cookies and a story, and it will seem like just about any other evening. But this one is different; this night is your last one in a world of relative freedom and fun.

As soon as you step across the threshold into kindergarten, your life will change forever. And as the guy lucky enough to be your Daddy, I know I’m supposed to offer a few words of encouragement, maybe look up what Martha Stewart says to tell your kids on this occasion, and go with that.

But I can’t.

All I’m going to say is “Be good, play nice, and don’t worry.”

You see, I know the dark truth about school. You’re going to learn way more than you bargained for.

You’ll learn about homework, deadlines, goals, and stress. You’ll learn about guilt, shame, and bullying in a way that’s not abstract. You’ll be called names, and you’ll never know why you’re being picked on. You’ll be blamed, even though there’s not a thing you can do about it.

I wish I could tell you what to do, but frankly I don’t know. Everything I did was wrong. If you talk to people, you’ll be wrong. If you keep to yourself, you’ll be wrong. If you can’t keep up, you’ll be wrong. If you’re way ahead, you’ll be wrong.

And you’ll have many more years ahead to figure all this out. I’ll tell you I can help, but I can’t. I’ll tell you there’s nothing to worry about, but it won’t work. I hope you’re among the lucky ones who figure it out quickly and don’t find themselves wearing a target. I hope your school days are nothing like mine.

So be good, play nice, and don’t worry. That’s really all I got.

Nighty night!

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2 thoughts on “From Daddy on your First Day of School… Ever

  1. We all had school experiences that just sucked. It’s unfortunate … but it’s also a part of life. I try my best, with my daughter, to just be so much more supportive & caring & involved than my own mother was, and hopefully that will make a difference in her life.

    I don’t know what your elementary experience was — I only met you in 7th grade. And being your friend, for the times that it was allowed, made a difference in my life.

    You & Lisa are wonderful parents who, I’m sure, will do the absolute best that you can for the kids. You’ll be involved and you’ll listen, you’ll be proactive and you’ll be aware, you’ll be supportive and will help them to not feel alone. Your kids already have a great advantage, and though they’ll sometimes struggle & will sometimes feel overwhelmed, they’ll always have you two to help them feel safe and loved — and that will make all the difference.

    Good luck to you all as they take these steps into the next phase ….

    • Thanks very much for that! Lis and I were just talking about how much we hated school, and how long it will take. Maybe a few weeks? Maybe never… I always wondered if the well-liked kids enjoyed school more.

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