When my daughter came home from her first day of kindergarten she showed me a plastic baggie with this note attached to it:
Is that the sweetest thing? So I kept it (obviously, because I hoard all thoughtful things) and when both kids started a new school together, I decided to fill up little plastic "tool boxes" for them to keep in their backpacks or cubbies. Since my son couldn't read at the time, I explained each of the items. I added a small picture of us and a felt heart. I also changed the words for the cotton ball to remind my kids that feelings can be soft so be gentle to all.
No matter if your child is starting kindergarten, college, sixth or eighth grade, every student needs a little thoughtful pinch to get them thru the first day or maybe the first month of school. Heck, you may even know teachers who need a little tool box like this to get them thru the school day. "Back To School" is always an exciting time but sometimes, in the bustle of trying to get your school day rhythm back, your child (or your adult) may need reminders. Use kind words and have warm feelings. Comfort themselves when they feel sad. Stick together and help each other. Know that they are valuable and special. Shine and always do their best. Remind them that everyone makes mistakes and that is okay. Most importantly, your child (or adult) may have forgotten that they can come to you if they need help so hand them a Lifesaver and remind them.
Giving this pinch is all about being from you, thoughtful you. Add, subtract, change - just let your loved one know that you are thinking of them. They can reach into their tool box if they need to in order to get thru some moments when you can't be there for them. Use a special cloth pouch, a recycled Altoid box, a plastic sandwich bag etc. as a container for your items. Make one for your favorite babysitter who is going off to college, your grandchild who is in fourth grade, your sister who is in nursing school, your nephew who is a senior in high school, your uncle who is in law school. These special people in our lives do not have to be going into kindergarten and they don't have to be your kids.
Happy Back To School and have a wonderful first day to all that are starting soon!
P.S. Ms. Maanum, Ms. Cogswell, Mr. Goeddeke and Ms. Cluff - thank you for the support, magic and warmth my kids received during their kindergarten years.