Moments earlier I stared in amazement at their nearly silent playing while the parents learned the ins and outs of preschool. “I guess these are the types of children that can attend a parent meeting,” I thought.
But as the parents played the “pass the ball” introductory game, just like in real preschool, I began to worry in a way that produces underarm sweat.
“As you can see, my child is very active!” the silently playing boy’s mother sweetly explained.
I caught hold of my sister’s widening eyes, “this is what my children look like when they are asleep,” I’m confident she was thinking. Imaginary visions of what our 9 kids were doing together with my babysitting mom gave my thoughts good reason to echo hers. Then, I described him as having a “fullback” personality. “We going to get kicked out,” was my next thought.
As a child, I loved the day leading up to the first day of school. Every year it was the same. My mom gave me an at home, sometime crooked, haircut before I slept in curlers for approximately as many hours as possible to somehow capture the beauty of my sister’s bouncing spirals. I had picked out my outfit for every day of the first two weeks two months prior at Gap Kids summer sale, so wardrobe planning had already been completed. My efforts to convince my sister that wearing matching outfits was a good idea were ignored. I organized my backpack and my pencils, the ones with the feathers, packed extra carefully. We had a turkey dinner, with biscuits that she pretended were homemade. In the morning we took a picture under the clock, and my smile and I hammed it up, feeling pure excitement until I found my seat on the bus and could no longer see my mom, but never once did I cry.
As a parent, I am terrified. I can’t decide what traditions to begin. Do we hold a sign that says the grade? Do we wake up early and somehow avoid the 57 fights that break out each morning at breakfast? Should I attempt at home haircuts or save him the embarrassment and possible head bleeding?
I’ve planned two family meals and washed his clothes twice. I’ve reviewed the names of the kids in his class 5 billion times. I have yet to pick out my own outfit, but, his is already laid out.
What if he pees on the playground? I’m sure he’s going to steal the other kids’ snacks. Will he and cousin Bailey break all the rules on purpose? Will the teacher’s quit because of us? Probably.
Will he cry and miss me all day? Will he not care and make me cry and miss him all day? Will the other moms like me?!
Wishing you all a happy first day of school. May you be a bit less crazy than me.