Seeing your kids off to school for the first time can be a multi-pack of emotions for any parent – just ask my mother who apparently wept like a toddler for 20 minutes in her car after dropping me off at kindergarten for the first time. Part of you is happy to send them off into the world to start their way, but the other part of you is devastated that they’re not babies anymore.
But having a method of commemorating the start of each school year can make the transition easier, as well as creating some lasting memories. And that is how this mother from Dallas, Texas, Carina Cansino, came up with this very unique back-to-school tradition for her son, Gus.
Every year, Carina has Gus put his handprint on the back of a T-shirt. Already, he’s got two handprints so far: one from pre-K, and one from starting his first day of kindergarten.
The shirt has enough room for Gus to add his handprint all the way through the 12th grade, so when he’s older both he and his mom will be able to look back and see how far he’s come.
Carina posted a photo of Gus smiling in his shirt, to her Twitter:
Let’s begin the first year of elementary 😁 pic.twitter.com/PZCBQKZb8v
— lil CC (@carinawitha_C) August 19, 2019
Immediately, it seemed like others were in love with the creative idea, as the tweet quickly received over 215,000 likes and more than 35,000 retweets.
People on Twitter also began to chime in with their opinions, and others even shared their own first-day traditions.
Instead of a handprint, Twitter user @sydsanti showed how she used her fingers to indicate each year of school growing up:
i love this because i always grew up doing fingers for the grade number!! (11th was ☝🏽☝🏽, 12th was ☝🏽✌🏽)
— sydney (@sydsanti) August 20, 2019
Twitter user @Jahnae2019 shared photos of her niece, who it seems is also using this handprint tradition as well:
Wow! My niece did this too! Too cute pic.twitter.com/z2LDlRCZx0
— Jahnae 🥵 (@Jahnae2019) August 20, 2019
Twitter user @imkentheman loved this idea so much, they decided that they wanted to start using it with their own kids:
Omg I wanna start this but I already missed two grades lol
— 🦄pimpenKen🌻 (@imkentheman) August 20, 2019
If you have kids and would like to start a handprint tradition, you can purchase a shirt like this through Etsy.
For example, The Olivia Bell Designs US shop, has a shirt that is almost identical to Gus’s shirt, and this one can be customized with your kid’s name plus year of graduation.
And it’s available for $24.95 on Etsy:
If you’re interested in purchasing one from Carina directly, there is good news. She has announced on her Twitter that she will be making and selling these shirts.
She encourages direct messages from anyone who is interested:
I’m in the process to start selling the shirt for your kiddos! Please give me a week to gather what I’ll need , prices, etc!
— lil CC (@carinawitha_C) August 20, 2019
It didn’t start out as a business, instead it was founded as a way of creating special memories. “I wanted something that my son and I could enjoy not just now, but when he becomes an adult,” Carina said to Insider.
“I know one day we’ll both look back at all the photos and cherish all the great memories,” Carina added. “It’s the best part of being a mom.”
What first-day-of-school traditions did you have as a kid? What ones do you have now for your kids? Let us know!