Monkey started back to school this week. I confess our district’s back-to-school routine fascinates me. First, the kids have an open house night when they can come to school, meet their new teacher, and drop off their wheelbarrow of school supplies. That was Tuesday night. Nothing happened on Wednesday. The official first day of school was Thursday. So the kids went two days and then were off for the weekend. Next Monday, they go back, but Thursday and Friday are test days so they’re off again. Then, of course, we run into Labor Day weekend with Monday off, and just for grins, they get Tuesday off too.
What exactly is going on here? I’m confused, and I’m an adult. What’s a first grader supposed to think? “Am I in school?” “Why was I in school yesterday, but not today?” "Why in the world should I go to school tomorrow?"
My theory is, the powers that be are trying to ease the kids into school without the children even realizing it. You know, a few days here, a few days there, and eventually, the kid looks up sometime in October and discovers he’s in a classroom. “Wait a minute here? What am I doing in school? What happened to summer? Weren’t we just playing in the sprinkler, and what are these pumpkins about?”
Actually, this is good preparation for life. I don’t know how many times I’ve looked up and said, “Hey, who are you? Am I married to you? When did that happen?” And, of course, there’s, “Why is this kid calling me Mommy and expecting me to feed him?” And the classic, “Wait a minute, I’m 29? 29!!!”
Yes, these bewildering moments descend upon me frequently. I’m perpetually dazed and wondering just how I acquired the latest inch on my hips and that long gray hair that surely I should have noticed months ago. “29?! Really?!”
At least I know my kids are getting practice in bewilderment. Makes me rest easier knowing they’ll be prepared to have no idea what’s going on or how they ended up where they are. After all, functioning amid total confusion is an important life skill. I should know.
Excuse me, there’s this kid here asking me for chips. I have the feeling he’s going to take it personally if I don’t give him some. Wait a minute, how long have we lived here?