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Monday, August 19, 2013

First Day

The house is clean and everything is in its place.  I wish I were tripping over toys and cursing about the mess...

The supplies are all packed and ready to go.  I wish that I'd forgotten some of them...

Everyone has the haircut they wanted for the first day back.  I wish I hadn't had time to consider that...


The first day back to school brings so much anticipation for so many.  I see numerous posts about everything being "ready" for that special first day. Some are worried about what outfit will be best to ensure the best start for a successful year.  Others are teary-eyed at new milestones reached.  Everyone is planning something for that first day back.  Maybe it's a special picture, or a new lunchbox. It could be any number of things, but in some way we all prepare for these moments with anticipation, and try to begin any "first" in the best way possible.

I was thinking about what my perfect first day of school would look like, if I got the chance to draw it up myself.  I would start by complaining the night before that the house was a mess and that I'd forgotten about three things on each child's list.  Then I'd finally rush through getting kids in bed and drag myself back to the living room to change, medicate, and hold my baby, silently begging him to give me just ONE night of sleep.  He would undoubtedly keep me awake long after everyone else had fallen asleep and I'd resent him for it.  I would finally get him down and make an attempt at sleeping myself only to be woken up at least 4 times throughout the night.  I'd stare blankly at the clock, watching my precious minutes of sleep time slipping by as I held him and rocked and rocked and rocked.

When morning came, I'd drag myself out of bed and rush through breakfast, and maybe comb someone's hair, or maybe not.  I'd be frustrated at the lack of organization and any semblance of a schedule. I mean, we should at least be able to have that on the first day!  I'd be short and cranky with my children as we got ready to leave because of the sheer exhaustion.  Then I would wake my sick baby and drive everyone to school only to watch parents who have it all together taking pictures outside for the big first day.  I wouldn't have had time to even comb my hair and taking him into such a germ-infested place was out of the question. So, as other moms took their babies into their new rooms, I'd trust that my kids' premature independence (born out of necessity) would carry them to the correct places.  That point is usually when the frustration became to much and tears would fall, but only a few as it would be seizure counting time and I would need clear eyes for constant movement between the road and that sweetest, sleepy boy in my rear-view mirror.

None of those things will happen this year.  Everyone has exactly what they need for school.  Everyone picked out the "perfect" thing to wear.  Everyone will be well-rested, and breakfast won't be a sprint.  I have such mixed emotions about the perfection of this day.  On the one hand, I'm monumentally grateful for the opportunity to parent my children without feeling rushed or obligated to get it "just right."  I'm even grateful for the moments of perfection we get to enjoy.  But, on this night before the first day of school, I find myself aching for the frustration, yearning for the torment of another chaotic day, and burning for that sweet, sleepy smile in that mirror.