But I turn and clutch the doll to my chest, suppressing tears. This doll, placed so tenderly on the step, is an offering to the passage of time, to growing up, to letting go. It hurts my heart. I don’t want it to come yet. Slowly, I make my way down the stairs, cradling the doll.
Can you believe it is already time to register children for the Fall of 2018 kindergarten? There are few times as exciting for parents as the time our children transition into kindergarten. In my experience as a school principal, our...
Instead of asking my daughter to wait for me to play with her and dealing with her whining and clinginess in the meantime, things went more smoothly if I sat down and played with her right away. After we played for about ten minutes, I praised her for the good job she was doing and then asked her to finish playing without my help.
My youngest daughter recently started kindergarten. She has been a rock star with the transition. I have a fourth grader who has been in charge of packing her own lunch for a few years now, so I was excited...
Do I feel the need to validate myself and explain my career decision with past accolades and honors to reassure myself and others of my choice? Not anymore. I used to apologize and dismiss the very notion of this choice, but now that I'm deep into the teen years with my three kids, the value of motherhood and what I offer and contribute has seeped into my bones.  
In an effort to put myself out there, I am joining everything you can think of. I just signed for a knitting class and joined the PTO for my son’s school. Maybe that is my version of a mid-life crisis.
I enjoy putting together homemade Lunchables, so I can choose higher quality meat, cheese and crackers and also pack some fresh fruit as a side. I also switch up sandwiches by using different breads like tortillas, bagel thins and croissants.
By Day 3, they started to come around.  They woke up happy and I smugly thought to myself, "Pat on the back mom, they needed this as much as you did. Way to stand your ground."
Teaching them early that it is okay to hit as long as there is a good reason for it perpetuates the idea that some violence is justified, and that's not a road I want to lead my children down. 
I have been here before. At one point, before my daughter came along, all three of my boys were in school at once. I didn't like it. I treasured the disappearance of the sibling WWF rounds and the cries of "I'm bored." Or "I'm starved." But between those bits of relief, I felt empty. Like I had lost my purpose.

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