And forget not that the earth delights to feel your bare feet and the winds long to play with your hair. ~ Kahlil Gibran

Tuesday, September 08, 2009

Anxiety on the First Day of School

Long ago, I got over the "my baby is growing up and going off to school" thing. I look forward to the first day of school with barely concealed glee every year.

Then the first day of school arrives. The night before is rough enough. Did Big Sprout pack all the necessary school supplies in her bag? Did I miss some crucial item on the list in the chaos of back to school shopping? Does she have clean underwear? What happened to that new package of socks? Will I wake up in time to get her smiling face on the bus?

Yeah, I am a freak like that.

Then comes the actual morning of the first day. Still reeling from waking at an hour that I consider positively unholy, I am expected to make sure that she is properly fed, dressed, clean and presentable for her first day. This is complicated by her inability to understand the important of good personal hygiene. I mean, seriously. How many times should I have to tell the girl to brush her teeth?!

Then we have to play the balancing game of what is the appropriate time to go out and wait for the bus. I, personally, have absolutely no trouble making her sit out at the corner for half an hour or more just to make sure that she doesn't miss the bus. She, on the other hand, would like to wait until she sees the bus come barrelling down the street and then run to catch it at the last second.


Then, of course, we have all the mommy worries. What if, by some computer glitch or clerical error, they think she has no money in her lunch account? What if they have misplaced her in their vast vaults of student records, and don't have her placed in the appropriate classroom? What if she forgets some crucial bit of information (like the secret school handshake) and ends up in the office for the majority of the day while they straighten things out? What if she catches some terrible disease from all the other youngsters who hate washing as much as she does? What if the school catches on fire? Or, the absolute worst: What if they send her back home?!

So I am comforting myself with egg rolls and chocolate while Little Sprout watches Flight of Dragons for the 7 millionth time. I count the hours until the first day of school is over, and we can settle into the comforting routine of the school year.

Tomorrow I will drag my sorry backside out of bed just seconds before she needs to be forcibly ejected from the house in order to not miss the bus, and then gratefully flop back into bed until Little Sprout wakes me. Tomorrow I will leave it to Mr. Barefoot to make sure that she has brushed both teeth and hair, and her cruddy breakfast of Coco-Puffs and toast will not bother me. Tomorrow I will begin dreading the first day that she doesn't have school.



Kelli said...

Always good to get the parent perspective! Seems the first day is hard for everyone . . . kids, teachers, and yes, moms . . . *hugs*

barefoot gardener said...

*smile* I can't imagine how hard it would be for a teacher. All my worries are second hand (and a little crazy), but teachers have to sit up in front of the whole class and be in charge! *shudder*

hope your first day with students went well!

RuthieJ said...

We were lucky -- we lived right across the street from school. I'm sure my mom couldn't wait for that first day of school every year when she could send all 4 of us out the door at the same time! Then enjoyed her 3 hours of blessed freedom and quiet until we all dashed home again for lunch.

Lisa said...

So? Did you survive the week??

It could be worse, it could be YOU in school! Take it from me... still scary after all these years!

barefoot gardener said...

I survived...barely.

With the help of cheesecake....