This Family Has the Sweetest Tradition for the First Day of Kindergarten
First day of Kindergarten traditions in my family varies from copious amounts of tears to high fives all round, depending on the child. We take all the obligatory pictures of the kindy kid dressed up in their big school uniform wearing their huge backpack, both in front of the bushes in the front yard and in front of the sign at the school. That’s about it, really.
One family in the US has taken their Kindergarten traditions really seriously since for over sixty years, and it is so sweet.
Nineteen members of Jenny Hirt’s family have worn the same dress to their first day of kindergarten since 1950.
The adorable frock was handmade by Jenny’s great-grandmother and grandmother for her aunt, and ever since, it’s been a tradition for all the girls to wear it once. It’s lasted 67 years so far and shows no signs of being retired anytime soon!
Jenny has sent both of her daughters, 4-year-old Caroline and 6-year-old Ally, to school wearing the vintage yellow dress with purple trims and embroidery. The dress has been in her family since her aunt, Martha Esch, wore it in 1950. Jenny’s great-grandmother, Maude Hatton Bryant, sewed the dress, and her grandmother, Helen Esch Stewart, stitched the floral embroidery.
The Colorado mum wore the dress when she started kindergarten in 1981. The little dress has been passed around to 19 different eager kindergartners and has travelled to seven US states: Michigan, North Carolina, Arizona, Oregon, Colorado, Ohio and Florida.
The dress has been worn in 1950, 1952, 1960, 1969, 1981, 1991, 1995, 2003, 2005, 2010, 2012, 2013, 2016, and now 2017.
This year, Jenny made some minor repairs to the dress and noticed the buttons had been moved around at least three times. She assumed other relatives had modified the outfit to make it fit the kindergartners in the family.
While Jenny’s oldest, Ally, was thrilled to wear the dress since she knew her mother and grandmother wore it on their first days of school, her youngest, Caroline, decided to put her own twist on the outfit before agreeing to wear it.
“She had to wear her favourite boots,” Jenny told HuffPost. “And she also refused to put her hair in pigtail braids as was part of the tradition. As a mum, you know, we pick our battles, and all I was really focused on was Caroline having a positive first day of kindergarten.”
There are three more children ― ages 2, 3 and 4 ― in the family who will wear the dress next. Jenny said her family values handing things down to each other and keeping traditions.
“That includes recipes, clothes, jewellery, artwork, chairs, musical instruments ― you name it!” she said. “When I was pregnant with my first daughter, my mother sent me boxes of my childhood clothes and toys that she kept for years waiting for me to have my first child. Ally and Caroline have played with many toys or lovies that used to be mine when I was a little girl.”
Source: Jenny Hirt