Home » Family » Another School Year…..and how I made my kindergartener cry! {Boo.}

Another School Year…..and how I made my kindergartener cry! {Boo.}

I’m still working out the Email RSS feed kinks.  Are you seeing any pictures today?  I’m crossing my fingers because all of this coding stuff is so tricky.  I don’t like emails or feeds without pictures either, so I’ve been trying to get them back in.  But this darn technology has been fighting me hard! :)  Any better? (Crossing my fingers…)

. . . . .



Connor and Elli were so excited to start school yesterday. 


Connor was most excited about his “new orange shoes” and Elli was over the moon about eating lunch in the cafeteria.  Oh, and having TWO recesses!!!! 





Sunday night, we started laying out school outfits, packing lunches/snacks, finding socks, and packing back packs.  And that’s when I realized, “wait, where are the backpacks?!?!”  I didn’t buy the kids new backpacks this year because their bags from kindergarten (and preschool) last year still looked awesome and weren’t tattered or thread bare at all.  (Which, secretly, I was kinda bummed about.  Buying new backpacks is part of the fun of starting a new school year, but I just couldn’t justify tossing aside these darn bags for new ones.  I guess I gotta buy cheaper next time, so that they’ll wear out before another year starts.  Ha!  Totally the kid in me talking and, I know, makes no sense at all!


But since these were old bags, they had been used all summer for stuffed animal hideouts and Lego totes.  But dang it, “where are they?!?!


Connor and Elli searched.  And searched and searched.  And then I searched with them.  Upstairs and downstairs, in the garage, out in the car, under beds, in closets, etc.  Finally, they appeared.  One was behind a dresser and the other on top of a shelf under a toy car garage.  Yeah, I asked the same question you are right now, “how’d they get there?!!




Anyway, we loaded up bags and placed their clothes on the floor, right next to their bed…….and they were off to bed. 


In the morning, they both woke up with giant smiles, anxious to head out the door.  Elli is usually a bit more anxious about uncharted territories and since we moved away from her last school, this school thing was all new again for her. (Remember last year when Elli started kindergarten?  She was a nervous little Nelly.






Connor adapts pretty well and I just wasn’t as worried about him.  I knew he’d jump right in with both of his little orange shoes on! ;)







When we arrived at school, I helped Connor find his kindergarten line and knew we had about 15 minutes before parents would walk with their kindergarteners into their new classroom and help them get situated before leaving. 






So I began searching the crowds for Elli’s 1st grade line.  I knew she would just be dropped off and would then walk inside the school alone, with her teacher and classmates.  However, we couldn’t find her line.  Steve doesn’t work Mondays, so he was there with us but Chloe was a little sick so she was in the stroller.  It was hard for him to weave through the crowds with her so I held Elli’s hand as we looked for her teacher and class line.  I kept looking back at Connor’s line, making sure they weren’t leaving yet while we were looking and could see Connor just standing there with his classmates, ready for the minutes to pass so he could start this whole school thing.  So, I didn’t worry much about him as we walked a bit further away, trying to find Elli’s line……..when, we finally spotted it.  Way at the other end of all the other class lines.  So, I helped her get in line, gave her 17 or so kisses, told her she’d fly like a bird that day, and told her I couldn’t wait to hear how her day went when I picked her up later that day. 






She gave me a nervous grin and continued soaking in her surroundings.  Steve finally made his way over to us and stood nearby, helping her to not feel so alone until the bell rang.





Meanwhile, I headed back to stand with Connor.  Once I found him, his little heart was broken.  He had melted into a puddle of tears, so scared that I had left him there alone.  Dang it, dang it………BAD MOM.  Who leaves their sweet little kindergartener standing there alone, on his first day of school???  Uggggh.  Even though there was another little girl and her mom right there (who we are neighbors with and know really well….thanks Nicole!!), he became suddenly overwhelmed by everything going on around him, and his heart sunk.  And you know elementary schools on the first day of school…….they’re complete chaos


So, I squeezed that little guy to death, told him about a trillion “I’m sorry’s!“, and then grabbed his 5-year-old hand and told him I’d hold it all the way to his classroom and would stay in there with him until he was all settled (which is what they instructed us to do). 





Then, because this is what I do when I goof up, I changed the subject and started trying to make him laugh about something completely different.  It worked.  And we were back on the “super excited” train!  Whew.



Once all the students and parents filed into the classroom, his teacher made some intros, read the class “Mrs. Bindergarten goes to Kindergarten”, and then asked the kids what they should do about their over crowded classroom (aka: too many kids/parents all squished into one room).  The kids gave some ideas and then she guided them to suggest that maybe if all the parents left to go to their “meeting”, they’d have more room to play.  Perfect.  Connor looked back at me and gave me the ‘thumbs up’ as they ushered us to the library to fill out some forms and enjoy some fruit and bagels.  Totally impressed.




While there, I texted Steve to ask about Elli and he said she did just fine.  That yeah, she looked nervous but she followed right along and was totally fine.



Anyway, I totally UNDER estimated Elli yesterday and OVER estimated Connor.  I kept thinking about him while he was away at school, and worried all morning that I had somehow ruined his first day.  You know that whole mommy guilt thing?…….it’s AWFUL!  However, when I picked him up from his half-day of kinder, he had his huge confident Connor-smile plastered on his face as he bee-bopped right over to the car.  As he climbed inside, I asked him how his day went and he told me in his regular ol’ chipper Connor voice, “it was so great mommy!”  And then he continued to explain, “I made a new friend but can’t remember his name but I played with him on the playground and sat by him in class and ate my snack and oh, yummy, thanks for that surprise fruit snack, that was so funny ((insert happy giggles))…..but we got to play with toys today too, not just learn stuff, and we played with some blocks and read stories and oh!…….did you know there is a girl in my named Ella?  That’s just like our Elli but it’s Ell-A!”


I laughed as I tried to keep up with all of this first-day-of-school-data that he was rattling off to me and then asked him if he was nervous or scared after I left and he quickly said, “Nope!  Not even one little bit.  I’m never shy mommy……..I was just fine!  I played and played and played today and I wasn’t even one bit nervous!”  (I’m not even kidding…….that’s pretty much verbatim of what came out of his mouth.)  I laughed and grinned and even cried a bit as I listened to this kid talk and talk and talk……..all the way home.  And that’s when I let out a huge sigh of relief.


I’m still a total rookie at this whole parenting thing but once these guys are like 53 years old, I’ll totally have it down.  Or something. :)

 . . . . .



I think every start to a new school year will be a mixture of emotions for me.  I tell my eyeballs not to well up with tears on days like yesterday, but I can’t help it.  My 2 oldest are now in school and are creating good habits, learning fundamental skills, making new friends and are figuring out to make their own decisions in this great big world.  And you know, I’m just grateful they still let me watch and cheer them on. 



Anyway, another year has begun.  Best of luck little chickies…….you’ll both do great!



How was your kiddos’ first day of school?  (Anyone else make their kindergartener cry? ;))




Ashley Johnston
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Ashley Johnston

Owner at Make It & Love It
Ashley Johnston is a professional DIY costume maker, sewist, crafter, and owner of Make It & Love It. She is a mom of 5 and a wife to a very patient (with the craft clutter) husband. In case you’re wondering, she always chooses crafting/sewing/designing over mopping/dusting/wiping base boards……but bathrooms/laundry/full bellies are always attended to. Whew!
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  1. Houston Rockets Forum says:

    Your child is so adorable

  2. Sylvie says:

    My little one is experiencing first day of school ever, and I hope it is going well! It is so hard to turn off those Mama Bear instincts and just trust that everything will be fine! I have been staring at the clock all day, waiting to have my little one back in my care!

  3. Amy says:

    My little girl’s first day of kindergarten is next week and the anxiety is building…for me, not at all for her! Echoing the previous comment, I love your Elli’s shoes in these pictures. It’s all about skirts, dresses, and leggings for my 5-year-old but I just can’t bear to put regular old tennis shoes with them for school. Did you buy her shoes at Kohl’s? I’ve been searching online for something similar and that’s all I can come up with.

  4. Ashley says:

    Your kids are adorable – where are their shoes from? I love your daughters!

  5. Catty says:

    No pictures in the old reader.

  6. Linnae says:

    My oldest just started kindergarten this week. Luckily, his Dad was off work, so Daddy dropped him off at school and I picked him up. Probably for the best. I was able to be brave saying goodbye at my door–I don’t think I could have at the school door. :) Then picking him up was the fun part; he wasn’t saying much, so I had to ask questions, but eventually he started talking. Sounds like it went well. Phew!

  7. Jennifer C. says:

    At Kaitlyn Joy’s school parents aren’t allowed to walk them to the classroom (private school of 450 students). We pull up to the front and someone helps them out of the car. We say goodbye as they walk away. The younger kids are escorted by a high school student, to their classroom for the first week. Kaitlyn Joy barely looked back on Tuesday as she began her first day of first grade.

  8. Camille Salls says:

    I just have to say that I am very very new to this mom thing. I have a 2 year old and a 3 month old. And reading through this made me teary just to see how much you love your kids. I am sure I will make my kids cry on their first day of school.. I seem to epic fail at everything parenting.

  9. Charli Dooley says:

    I love that you shared this. My son started First Grade last week!! The few hours leading up to meeting his new teacher was great. Once it was time to walk into his class he had a complete, tearful meltdown. He said he didn’t want to go to school. He was afraid he wouldn’t make friends because he’s shy (which he is not) and that he should have picked the Iron Man lunch box instead of Spiderman. I had to walk him into his class after about 10 minutes of tons of hugs and reassurance (and a bit of bribery, to be honest!

  10. Patti Haggerman says:

    awww….enjoyed reading the first day “adventures”. It reminded me of my daughter, who sent her “baby” off to preschool last week. She was a nervous wreck the whole day!!

  11. Amy Woods says:

    Shhhh, I’ll tell you a secret…my son (my only child) starts his sophomore year on Monday…and here’s the secret…I still tear up every first day of school. Every. Time.

  12. Kellie says:

    This year my youngest starts kindergarten, and I am totally not ready for it. My eyes welled up during your post, and I was feeling so dumb until I read the comments and saw I wasn’t the only one. :) What a sweet story about your kiddos’ first day!

  13. Maureen says:

    My kindergartener starts school today. Don’t ask me why but for our school system the first day of school is a Wed. I made my little one cry a little this morning before I left for work. She asked me to do her hair again because she didn’t think it was right the first time and that I needed to put clips in with the ponytail and that she needed to choose the right clips. I felt bad but I told her that I didn’t have time for her to choose clips this morning that I had to do it. I felt like such a heel when I was fixing her hair and I could hear her sniffling. Thankfully after a hug and kiss she was over it. I think the biggest thing she is anxious about is that she has gone from a half day at Pre-K to a full day of school for kindergarten. I know she’ll be fine but like you it’s going to be a rough day until I get home and hear all about her day and that she enjoyed herself. Crossing my fingers everything goes well today!

  14. Maureen M. says:

    Love the first day of school pictures! We took them every year with the girls standing together on the front porch…and now it is something we treasure. Our youngest had all the pictures taken on the same front porch (we haven’t moved since then)…fun to see how they change so much. It is all kind of traumatic at times but they know you love them and are there for them and that’s what counts!

  15. Amy says:

    Awwww, I loved reading about your kid’s first day of school! Today is MY first day of school as well… first day of college classes that is! Not much has changed between first day of first grade and first day of 13th grade. :) Still just as nervous… ha!

  16. Jen says:

    Aw, so excited we have a few more weeks here in MI, we start after Labor day. I haven’t bought back packs in a while, Stan’s ripped a little last year and I just fixed…. poor kid having a mother who can sew ;).

    I have a 1st grader and a Kindergartener this year too. I teach preschool in the same building so on the first day for my kids (I don’t have preschoolers, they the next week) I’ll walk them from my room (and all my paper work) to see them off for their first day and then stop by to see them at lunch too.

  17. Bonnie Ditto says:

    Such an exciting time. Such sweet memories. My husband and I are going to our daughters to take our grandson to his first day of kindergarten. So enjoyed sharing your kiddos first day. Have enjoyed watching them grow. Tell Miss Elli she is growing too fast. She needs to stop that! Tell Connor that I love his shoes. New school shoes are the best.

  18. Gia says:

    OK, so this might be really weird, but I get teary when my kids start kindergarten too. Not weird? Well, that’s because I didn’t mention that I homeschool ;-) It is just so amazing to see them grow and get so excited about learning. I usually cry my way through the entire first year! Last year, my son with special needs started kinder. I’m getting teary thinking of him starting 1st grade now! He continues to amaze me and teach me patience. He is my fourth and I still have another three to start schooling! Lots and lots of bawling left in my future!!

  19. Jackie says:

    I was soo glad my son didn’t cry on his first day of kindergarten Monday. We’ve been working on being brave in new situations for almost two years now. We read books about kindergarten and had many conversations about what it was going to be like. All of that prep work paid off, he went to kindergarten like a champ. They had a school countdown in his hallway before school started so we could all join in on the fun. There was one kid in his class that was very anxious and started getting upset. It was hard to watch because it could have easily been my kid. The mom was having a hard time watching her son struggle. I almost cried for her, too. If I had been stronger I would have helped her, but I knew if I tried I would have been a puddle too and I didn’t want my son to see that and get upset. When I picked him up from school I simply asked how his day was. He emphatically said, “I LOVED it!” He’s going to have an awesome year!

  20. Lynn says:

    you totally made me cry and I am 58 and remembering when my baby was in kindergarten. I got a migraine (totally incapacitating one) and didn’t pick my baby up from the bus stop. Thank goodness everyone in the school district knows me, all that free voluntary work. They took him back to school and the girl from the front office called me and brought him home for me. I was still crying when my husband came home from work, thinking what a bad mom I was….

  21. Jenny says:

    So cute. I hope they have a great year. This made me cry also and my oldest is only 3!

  22. cucicucicoo says:

    Wow, you guys start school so early! We have almost another month til school starts! This was so sweet! My little gal was in 1st grade last year and it was amazing how much it changed her. Learning to read and write especially made her suddenly become so much more confident and independent, I still can’t believe it. I wish both your sweeties a wonderful year! :) Lisa
    (Oh, and I get your feed via email subscription and it’s just the first few lines, no images.)

  23. Kelsey Graybill says:

    I can see the pictures just fine and read the content just fine. I’m on Firefox (not sure if that makes a difference).

    I survived 6 “first days” of kindergarten. With my oldest I took lots of pictures and stayed with her in her class until she practically kicked me out. I still remember sitting in my car waiting to pick her up at the end of the day…I watched her walk outside and she was so full of confidence that I suddenly realized she was no long my little girl.

  24. Jess M says:

    My daughter started K this year and my little dude went back to Pre-K (he will have 1 more year after this). I decided against taking her to school since she wants to ride the bus and she is the last pick up and on there for about 5 minutes (or less). The dude rides a bus too and LOVES it!! They both had great first days and I am glad to have a few hours to myself again :)

  25. Karen says:

    No pictures in the email. I just click thru to read your blog.
    Sweet story of school.

  26. Crystal says:

    Last year my kindergartner cried every single day for the first few weeks…until I bribed him with Legos…I am grateful that here, Kinder and the rest of the grades start on different days so I didn’t have to leave one kid to take the other. Now the older one is comfortable enough with the school that she won’t need as much help. Hopefully my now 1st grader doesn’t cry…

  27. Susie Gomez says:

    My oldest started 6th Grade. I took pics at home but he wouldn’t let me take pics outside the school. I almost cried pulling away. Here’s the conversation between me and my 9-yr-old daughter as I was pulling away:

    Me: Oh no. I think I’m going to cry. My baby is in the 6th Grade.
    Katie: He’s not your baby anymore.
    Me: Oh, shut up. (Said dryly, not meanly)

  28. Andrea says:

    Pregnant people shouldn’t read these things! I am at work reading during lunch and I can’t help but think of my oldest who just turned 3. Why are my eyes burning :-( Only 2 years left? I can’t deal. Super sweet, and I am glad they had a good day!

    1. Heidi says:

      I was just thinking the same thing! I am 36 weeks along and started tearing up even though I have been sending kids to the first day school for 7 years now!!! Gotta love the hormones… : -P

  29. Janelle says:

    Still no pictures in Feedly. And I still vote for the full post.

    1. Paula says:


  30. Celeste O says:

    My kids don’t go back until September 3rd. Every year it does not get easier. My son will be going into 4th grade and my daughter into 1st grade.

    The pictures and text where fine for me.

  31. Jaren says:

    I always get so emotional on the first day of school! We also had a first grader and a kindergartner too this year! Cute pics!

  32. Michele says:

    My littles are in college now, but this made me cry. I remember those days. Good luck to your enthusiastic scholars! I know they’ll make you proud.

  33. Cathy says:!

  34. Annie says:

    Aww, this made me cry, too, as I snuggle my little two-year old. She’ll never be old enough for school, right?

  35. Heather says:

    My son started Kindergarten yesterday but we have full day kindergarten here. I don’t know what to do with myself! I didn’t make him cry yesterday but the bus was 10 minutes early dropping him off after school and they almost didn’t let him off at the right spot! The bus driver spotted me and my daughter running around the corner to the bus stop and informed me that he wasn’t on there and was about to radio in to see what bus he was put on when he stood up and said “I’m right here!” Scared me to death!

  36. Kristen S says:

    My eyes are tearing up! My oldest is starting Kindergarten this year and I thought I was going to be just fine, but the closer it gets (they start Sept. 3) the more nervous I get. :) Here’s to hoping that she will adapt quickly and come out happy and talking like yours.

  37. jen in pa says:

    oh, this made me cry too! so glad that he had a good day in the end. what fonts did you use for their pictures? they’re really cute!

  38. Valerie@Occasionally Crafty says:

    We’ve been in school for a week and a half now! I have a 3rd grader and a 1st grader- and so following their wishes we just dropped them off from the car drop-off line and watched them run away to meet their friends. No walking them in to their class, no first day worries- they are old pros by now! It made me feel sad that they are growing up so quickly, and happy that they feel that independent and excited about school. Wishing you and your kiddos a great school year!

  39. Mindy says:

    You totally made me cry! and my daughter is not even in school yet at 3.5 years old.

  40. British American says:

    Awww, you almost made me cry! My son will start K in a couple of weeks. (My daughter will be in 3rd and my 2 year old will be home.) We have to stay outside on the playground whilst the K kids walk in with their teacher – although some parents do tend to sneak into the building, at least in the hall. I’m bound to cry, so it’s probably better he makes a quick exit inside.

    Great that Connor has a great first day and I love that he told you so much about it – my kids have never really shared much about first days. I’d better check where our backpacks are too – we’re reusing a preschool one too.

  41. Audra says:

    To answer your question my feed (Feedly) is still just showing the first few lines of text with no pictures. I do like the full post better but having to click over really doesn’t bother me either.

    1. Marcelaine says:

      That’s what mine is doing too. It shows a few lines and then says it’s a content summary and I should go to the website to see the whole thing.

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Hi, I’m Ashley—the DIY-enthusiast behind this crazy blog!

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