If you need a recipe, here’s one for Nutella Ice cream: bit.ly/1rio3ut

We still have one more week of summer vacation at Casa de Roose. However, many of you are bundling your offspring back to school this morning, so I want to share my back-to-school tradition with you: After the kids leave the house, I eat a bowl of ice cream.

Yes, on the first day of school, after the photos are posted and the kids depart, I plop myself on the couch with a spoon. Straight out the container at 8am. And it’s AWESOME!

Why eat ice cream at 8am right out of the container? First, I earned it! You did, too! Let’s be serious – you managed your kids all.summer.long.  Some of those days were pretty long. Certain years, my ice cream moment comes with sheer giddiness because we all got through the summer and no one (me) wrung anyone’s (them) neck.

Secondly, on some back-to-school years, ice cream helps to stop the tears. It’s a shock to realize that your baby is heading down the sidewalk toward kindergarten, sixth grade, high school or starting his or her senior year. That’s a lot for a mama heart to absorb! Sometimes, ice cream helps us to embrace that moment and all of the feelings that come with it. (And if you are a milestone-mama this morning or next week, You’re going to be okay.)

My oldest daughter, Kate (right), on her first LAST day of school this morning at West Point/USMA. Her roommate, Bri is on the left. Sigh.

My oldest daughter, Kate (right), on her first LAST day of school this morning at West Point/USMA. Her roommate, Bri is on the left. Sigh.

Every day, we mamas grind it out. We’re caring, bossing and moving our kids along. Often, the days blur in and out. But, the first day of school is our annual reminder of how far we’ve come. Yet, that reality never seems to focus until we snap that back-to-school picture.

Seriously, that back-to-school photo crashes me some years. We see our kids with fresh eyes in their new clothes. We see them moving toward the future and we’re not always ready for that. But, that picture reminds us that it’s coming.

(I wish I was at your homes to see the five minutes BEFORE that calm, sweet back-to-school photo – ha! For many of us, the back-to-school photo is a hostage situation under the best of circumstances. I challenge some mom out there to post the picture BEFORE the picture. Who’s gonna do it!)

A moment to start looking forward…

As I sit with my container of ice cream, I envision my kids walking toward their classrooms for the first time. I pray their new classes, lunch time, the tricky combination lock and that their new friends will be good influences on them. I also pray for their teachers and administrators because, well, God bless ’em. By the way, I always toast one scoop to all the teachers out there. This one is for you, teachers!

So, that’s my tradition. I’ll do it next week. I’m only sending one kid back to school for the first time in 16 years. So, there will be a few tears in that ice cream. And a few smiles when I remember, two down, one to go.

Talk back to me! Do you have a back-to-school tradition? How’s the photo moment really going down at your house? What are you celebrating about your school year? Tell us about it!

And if you think that another mama might enjoy this post, please share it with her. Thanks!