I spent a large chunk of our weekend planning ahead and getting ready for this morning, because SCHOOL! School was this morning for the first time since last May. I had every intention of having the refrigerator stocked with healthy food, and the house scoured to a Mary Poppins shine, and the first-day-of-school outfits laid out and ready to go. I was going to get up early and fry some eggs for my HIGH SCHOOL KID, so that he could start his freshman career on a protein high, and mothers everywhere were going to pin our morning on Pinterest, because WOULDJA LOOK AT THOSE ANGELS SINGING THEIR HALLELUJAHS OVER OUR SWEET PERFECTION?
Clearly, what got in my way was the fact that I realized on Friday in the Social Security Office that I really don’t have anything together in my life, no matter how hard I pretend it isn’t so, and no matter how many pictures of perfectly cleaned and perfectly organized kitchens I put onto Pinterest boards. But… my weekend plans included giving it all my best shot.
I bought the groceries. I bought the pricey, organic lunch meat and the organic fruit and the gluten-free, sugar-free, all-natural, loved-by-Mother-Earth oatmeal. On Friday night, I worked myself into a frenzy and scrubbed my house.
I vacuumed and mopped and dusted and straightened and LOOK AT THIS SPARKLE. I’m fairly certain that my twenty-year-old self had some issues with my over-forty self, because HOUSEWORK ON A FRIDAY NIGHT. The horror.
This morning, just three days after my three-hour episode of manual labor, we once again look like we live in a frat house.
It was the first day of school today, and I didn’t peak.
This doesn’t bode well for the rest of September, when mothers across America are still packing organic lunches that can be featured in magazine articles. This is before October rolls around, and we all stare into our refrigerators and wonder if a black banana and three pieces of string cheese is enough to carry a teenage boy through his afternoon classes.
Needless to say… we DID NOT have a Pinterest morning, when today was our best gamble for having one. The laundry wasn’t done. The shorts the boy decided to wear had snarled cargo pockets that looked like they’d been washed in an electric mixer. My OCD wouldn’t leave them alone until I’d ironed them. I had insomnia last night and slept an entire three hours, which means I was still SOUND ASLEEP AND DROOLING ON MY PILLOW when Thing 2 got up at the fashionably late hour of 6:05 AM. I felt like I was running behind all morning, and frying eggs turned into GRAB YOURSELF A POP TART IF YOU’RE HUNGRY.
… we all made it to school on time, and I even managed to snap pictures of the boys.
So, BEHOLD! Our first day of preschool and high school, because Hubs and I enjoy putting some age difference in our children. (It just insures that we’ll be ripe and old before the baby moves out and we no longer have a live-in yard boy to mow our lawn for us.)
Yes, this snapshot was this morning of our boy and the cute neighbor boy, as they set off for their freshman and sophomore years.
I have no idea how they managed to grow such long legs and arms overnight.
Thankfully, there wasn’t enough time for tears after the big boys left for school, because I had to come back inside and wipe Pop Tart off the toddler’s face. No matter how chaotic our lives become, I do insist on clean faces when we venture into public places. It gives the illusion that we’re a family with a clean kitchen, when, in fact, our clean kitchen lasts exactly nine hours at our house. That’s only because I cleaned it before bedtime and no one walked into it for seven consecutive hours.
Twenty minutes later, I had Thing 2 in the Suburban, and we headed off to preschool. The real truth is that he DID go to preschool for two months last spring, after he turned three. He popped into a classroom for two hours, twice a week, and it was all fun and very sweet, but TODAY WAS THE REAL DEAL.
Three-and-a-half hours at a time, two days a week, for the next nine months. My throat was a little lumpy when I took our baby into the preschool building, but he was ready.
In fact, he wasn’t even interested in kissing me goodbye, because his teacher dumped out some Lego building blocks, and GET OVER IT, MA! I GOT LEGOS GOING ON HERE, AND I NEED YOU TO TAKE YOUR TEARFUL TRAIN WRECK INTO THE HALLWAY.
And THAT, people, is EXACTLY — one hundred percent!! — how the boy and I parted ways on his first day of kindergarten, clear back in 2006. He and his buddy Kellen had blocks to play with, so CATCH YOU SOMETIME BEFORE THE WEEK IS OUT, MA!
After I left the toddler behind at his school… After I’d left the classroom without him even so much as NOTICING MY EXIT… I went home and had a cup of coffee all alone.
I drank it hot, from start to finish.
I never had to walk away with it to attend to a small person.
I never had to reheat it.
I sipped it slowly while I read a chapter in my Bible.
And I think…
… that I could probably get used to that, people!
Bless my heart.
Later this morning, I went back to my gym for the first time in three entire months, and we had ourselves some PE classes. It was a very smooth day. My little friend, Isabelle, who goes to church with us and showed up in kindergarten PE this morning, summed up the entire day nicely:
“I knew school was going to be good… but I didn’t know it was going to be THIS SUPER GREAT!!”
Our boys echoed Isabelle’s thoughts completely, as they both came home with smiles and the sweet exhaustion of the first day back.