The First Day of School has been likened to a holiday for parents. For me it's more like New Years Day than that thing that happens January first. For my kids it's as good as Christmas. I've been shopping the sales for weeks and my home office is stocked for the year ahead. I decorated the school bulletin boards (black, white, and gold, GO Narwhals!!!) and bathroom walls and stalls (with info graphics and encouraging memes swiped from Facebook) last week.
The Baby went off to 5th grade in a Slytherin costume t shirt complete with cape, with lizard photo folios in her new sling style backpack. Her binder was "perfect, exactly like my teacher wanted." She also hasn't grown out of her hot stinky feet and the need to remove her shoes from them the moment she gets back in the car after school. This didn't happen in Summer. The other girls don't do this. Anyone know how to mitigate stinky sweaty feet‽ It's like something died in her shoes. I understand boys sometimes have this problem. I'm out of my depth here. Help is appreciated.
Rainbow Brite has new rainbow Skechers to go with her yoga pants and lucky Irish t shirt for the first day of middle school. She's also the proud owner of a metallic blue combination lock for her first school locker. She made me sign the permission forms for using a locker and smartphone (this is a new thing) before we even left the campus. Heaven forbid they get mixed in with the rest of the papers I have to sign and I forget them.
Lil Einstein has the cutest interpretation of combat boots I've ever seen for her sophomore year of high school. These boots were made for walkin'...all over the juniors and seniors in her Trigonometry and AP Physics classes. There's no English class on her schedule‽ No biggie, she's taking English 1A over at the Junior College. She casually mentions to me that she might not be able to get all of her homework done in class this year...and she's thinking about joining the math club. You go geek! She's gone from depressed and unmotivated to this academic monster over the last two years and I'm breathing a huge sigh of relief. A gifted child can be just as challenging as a learning disabled one.
The Senior...ah, the oldest child, who shaped me as a mother through trials by fire, started her day with "the friendship algorithm" printed on her t shirt and that eternally optimistic smile on her face that has brought her through high school on a college track in spite of spending half her days in RSP classes since 3rd grade. I snuck her favorite candy into her backpack before she left and she came back to me still smiling. A little bit of mint chocolate is the best medicine. She didn't need any new clothes or school supplies this year, just a $20 senior t shirt, $65 yearbook, $100 class ring, $200 senior portrait session, $??? prom dress fabric and notions, $50 prom ticket, $???? senior trip, $??? cap and gown, $??? college application fees, $??? testing fees...(help)!
After drop off I met some other moms and grandparents at Panera a few blocks away and we ate breakfast and gossiped about our kids and their teachers, encouraging each other and enjoying the celebration and sympathy. Still buzzing with excitement I didn't dare go home. I'm too liable to start another huge project I'll never have the same energy to finish when I'm in that state. Instead, I met up with my MIL and we ran errands together and caught up over lunch.
Fortunately, the first day is an early release day for the younger two. We picked them up and celebrated their survival with ice cream. Then, squeezed in one more errand before picking up the older two. Once home, they commenced to nap. Somehow, they never age out of that exhausted first day of school nap. I have a heap of "homework" to fill out and return tomorrow, but I'm still buzzing so it won't be a problem.
The only thing missing is a "First Day of School Miracle". Wait, we had one of those too. Last night I told my children I would be leaving to take them to school at 7:30 and that they were all old enough to set their alarms and get themselves ready and in the car by that time without me yelling at them. AND THEY DID!!! That's right, it actually happened. It might even happen again tomorrow.
The First Day of School isn't sort of like a holiday for parents. It's my favorite holiday!