The Fourth of July fireworks had barely fizzled out before it began: "When does school start?" "I don't wanna go back." "I wish it could always be summer." "School stinks." "Do we hafta go back?"
Of course, I didn't say any of this out loud. I'd hate to negatively influence my 7-year-old son, who happens to love school.
Me? I dread it. I hate the carpooling. I hate the daily drudgery of packing lunch. I hate the rush of getting homework done after school. I hate all the meetings, fund-raising and schmoozing with other parents. I hate the routine. I ... well ... I hate school.
Before you go wagging your index finger at me, reminding me that as a parent, it is my responsibility to ensure my child has a good education and a positive attitude toward school, I should tell you that on the outside I project the "right" attitude and demeanor. I "cheerfully" drive in the carpool, initiating fascinating conversations and bringing healthy after-school snacks for the boys to munch on in the car. I join fund-raising meetings and stay up past midnight organizing silent auction items. I attend every parent-teacher meeting with my list of thoughtful questions in hand. I even "joyfully" chaperone field trips to the symphony during which kids who are not my own make farting noises and disgusting faces and I must sternly but lovingly get them to stop. (Insert silent Edvard Munch scream here).
I do these things with a smile on my face, but what I'm really thinking is, "how many days till summer vacation?!" (While thinking this, Alice Cooper's "School's Out" rock anthem is playing loudly in my head.)
What I want to know is, are other parents faking it, too? Am I the only one who loves the luxury of long summer days when suddenly it is 9:30 PM and the kid is covered in ketchup and mud, but what the heck, he doesn't "really" need a bath since tomorrow's just another lazy summer day? Am I alone in the astounding joy of waking up at 7 AM and instead of rushing to get breakfast and get my boy dressed, I sleepily wander into his room, plop down on the bed, and pick up where we left off in reading Harriet the Spy? Are there any other parents out there who would rather pull splinters out of their tender feet than go back to school and attend those Sally Foster wrapping-paper fund-raising meetings?
Am I the only mother who sits in the parking lot crying after dropping her son off on the first day of school ... not only because my little boy is growing up, but because I DON'T WANNA BE BACK IN SCHOOL!?!