Back to School thoughts + bags

The school year is right around the corner and I'm feeling all the feelings. I have absolutely LOVED having Lily home all summer. With only a couple mornings a week away at day camp, I've had her all to myself. Extra time to watch her grow into the fun, sweet, strong person that she is, extra time with her siblings, extra time to shape her character, extra time to instill our family's values in her little heart. Time is what we all want more of, isn't it? Well, summer gives it to us, and it's almost over. The end of such a productive, fortifying, carefree, bonding season makes me grieve a little, I'll be honest.

But then the thought of September, a fresh start, and new opportunities has us excited and giddy. I love back-to-school. I always have. I remember buying a few new outfits with mom, and our annual trip to buy school supplies with  dad. They were hallmarks on our calendar and looking back, I can still feel the anticipation. Getting a new backpack, sharpening my pencils, and organizing all of my things was second only to Christmas morning. Maybe that speaks to my type A personality (Monica, anyone?), but I think everyone can appreciate a new beginning, and that's exactly what back-to-school signifies.

Lily starts grade 1 this September, and Oli and Clover are still kickin' it in preschool. Oli gets one last year of preschool because his birthday is just three weeks after the cut off date. Lucky him, he'll be the oldest in his class when he starts! Our girls fall right at the end of the year for cut off dates, so they'll be the youngest ones each year, but I know their strong character and personalities can handle it ;)

This year for backpacks, we went with Herschel bags from Altitude Sports, a local (and online) company that specializes in sporting goods for the whole family. We always get our winter gear from Altitude, because their prices are awesome and I love supporting a Montreal-based and Canadian company whenever I can. They have a great selection of backpacks this year, but I just love the Herschel kids collection so much! Our kids were going nuts for all the colours and patterns, and I love them all, so for once (Type A, remember?) I let them choose totally on their own.

Sending them off to school is such an act of faith. After years (and a whole summer) of pouring into our kids, we're lending them to our local school for six hours a day because we really believe it takes a village to raise a child. There's no perfect school, but we are volunteering and being present at ours as much as possible. We're having teachers over for lunch, and going on field trips, and bringing snacks, all in the hopes of keeping our influence on our kiddos, as we send them out. And of course, when they come back home each day, and all weekend long, it's back to square one of instilling values, investing in sibling relationships, and shaping character. And at the end of each year, we know there's always another summer.


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