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I struggled very much with letting go of my firstborn into kindergarten, and also with taking the time to get involved in the school in any way – volunteering, chaperoning, donating and just being there. Another casualty of being so nervous about the transition is that I didn’t make the most of my friendships with the parents of my daughter’s classmates. These friendships are GOLDEN. These are the people we will have in our lives at least until our kids are 18. Maybe and hopefully longer! These are the parents you can call when your carpeting guy is an hour late or you need to sign for a very important camera delivery, and you can’t get to the school by 3:00. These are the friends who will hold your hands and your heart when you most need it.
I brought new OREO Thins to our prized after school playground time earlier this week, and reflected on my school friendships. With the weather getting colder, and with life being so hectic sometimes, I feel that our group of friends is getting closer. We are with each other through thick and thin, and going through so many life transitions together – kindergarten, kindergarten graduation, new babies, career woes, confusion and just all-around family living. It’s so nice to go somewhere every weekday where everyone knows your name and is happy to see you! I look forward to that time every day.
With this time being so precious and important, I decided to make a list of ways to make the most out of your time with your school parent friends. My parents are still friends with many of their friends from my school days, and I can’t imagine life without them. I’d love to think of Scarlet and Des knowing that their friend’s parents will always be there for them, the way they are for me. So here are my top ways to make the most out of some of the best friendships I know:
1. Have a weekly breakfast (or lunch, snack or coffee) date: Some weeks are so hard we have more than one! Every Wednesday morning we have an inclusive, standing breakfast date at 9:15 at our new special place. It changes every week and sometimes people are late or leave early, but that adult conversation time is so key. We see each other on the playground every afternoon, but we’re always interrupted by our children. It’s nice to have uninterrupted conversation.
2. Have a Facebook or WhatsApp chat room available for conversation, questions, play dates, etc. You can even create or join a school-wide Facebook group to stay in touch on weekends, during summer, and on those hard and cold winter days.
3. Take pictures! That one is obvious to a photographer like me, but I’m so interested in preserving these special memories. We’re so often not in the photos, and instead taking photos of our kids. Get in those pictures!
4. Go for walks! Get to the school a little early and grab a friend or two (or more) for a walk around the school fields or track. It’s especially beautiful this time of year, but will keep us warm when winter hits!
5. Have a book club, or a club to talk about anything! Books, movies, TV shows, whatever. It’s nice to connect.
6. Have a night out together! Personally I love board game nights or trivia nights, or going out to dinner and/or dessert with friends. This is when Cassidy stays home with the kids or if he wanted to come, we’d hire a sitter.
7. Include school family friends in your weekend activities. Since our kids are all growing up together, it’s fun to arrange play dates on the weekends that are fun for the whole family, and seasonally appropriate.
8. Get involved. Together. Grab a friend and go to the PTO meeting, or a school fundraiser. Help your friends who are running for school committee or other positions. We are all in this together!
9. Arrange a special occasion or treat. One of my friends brought doughnuts to the playground once, and I was so inspired by the idea, that I now bring OREO Thins As you can imagine, they are a hit.
I found them at CVS and NEW OREO Thins are available there nationwide in three flavors – Golden, Original and Mint. I was so excited to see them at my local CVS earlier this week.
OREO Thins are the perfect satisfying snack for adults who appreciate the crispier cookie texture in the thinner OREO cookies – and for adults who appreciate getting together after school and enjoying a treat together while the kids are playing or still in class. Since I am most hungry during that 3:00 – 4:00pm hour, it’s exciting for me to bring a new treat to try.