First day of school, 2010
First day of school, 2011
Tomorrow morning, I'm going to get up, actually put on clothes (instead of traipse through the door wearing the pajamas I slept in), and go watch Phaedra graduate from preschool. I'm going to take her picture walking over a little wooden footbridge and watch her proudly display her brand new teddy bear (who will take her place in Tiny and Cart's family as their new sister, I'm told) and carry home her binder full of classroom work.
I will do all this while trying not to bawl my eyes out. Because, in a weird way, on top of dealing with the fact that my little baby is going to real school in the fall, it feels like I'm reliving the school experience myself.
No one really tells you on your last day of high school "HA HA SUCKERS! You think you're done with school?!?!? You get to do this shit all over again when you have kids!" Because if they did, half the kids wouldn't believe them, and the other half would just yell "HEY EAT ME MS. WOJINOWSKI!", which is just really rude.
But it's true. You think when you finish school that you're finally done with having to get up at the buttcrack of dawn and spend six hours inside a building that very closely resembles a minimum-security prison. Then you have kids, and you realize that oh snap, this kid can't drive himself to school, and he's expected to be there every single day. Really, really early in the morning. Which means you just signed up for ANOTHER thirteen years (or more!) of getting up at the buttcrack of dawn and dropping someone off at a building that very closely resembles a minimum-security prison.
It's the Ciiiiiiiiiircle of BUUUUUUUULLLLLLLLLSHIT.
Some things are slightly different this time around, though. Instead of your classmates all being the same age, they're a wide range of ages. You don't have to stay in class; in fact, they prefer it if you don't come to class. Also, you get to talk back to the teachers now if you want, and they can't make you stand at the wall at recess! Score!
On the other hand, some things never change. You have homework again (spoiler alert: it still sucks, but for wholly different reasons now). You're still taking orders from teachers, but this time it's via clip-art filled, badly worded flyers that are printed on orangey-yellow paper. Some of your classmates are cool, but there are definitely a few that are just complete assholes, and there's at least one genuine moron. You do your best to make friends with the cool ones, and hope to Christ that your kid doesn't make friends with the moron's kid.
Although Phaedra is the one that is graduating tomorrow, I feel like it's the last day of school for me, too. Sure, I'll be back next year with Bella, as will some of the other parents. But some of them won't be back. And since it's preschool, Phaedra probably won't see a lot of these kids again until high school; possibly never again. Which means I won't see their parents again, either. I think about all the hurried drop-off discussions. The field trip to Scary Farm (also known as The Field Trip That Must Not Be Named). The babies that I watched grow up in the hallway. Our little group that, of course, always sits together at the same table during class parties.
Yes, I know I'll make new friends, but it won't be the same! I DON'T WANT TO GO TO KINDERGARTEN! What if the parents there don't like me? Will I fit in? But check it out, I'm not going to worry too much about that now, because you know what starts next week?
SUMMER VACATION, BRO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Janel Mills is a librarian raising three girls with her beardedly gifted husband. She writes at her blog 649.133: Girls, the Care and Raising Of.