Parenting Blog

Back to School — 4th and 1st

4th and 1st.

That’s what started this week.

It was scheduled and planned for, but remains nonsensical because the warmth is still here and we all know the stickiness will return before a single leaf turns red. It’s confusing because the backyard play equipment is more than capable of taking additional abuse from its skinny proprietors while toys sit quietly on shelves inside with no hands or imaginations left at home to put them to proper use.

This dad was in no rush for things to change.

I’m not like the parents who bark with glee in front of their children about the end of summer and the start of the school year. Those parents, the ones who, like me, are lucky enough to spend summer days at home with their children without the financial hardships of necessary camps and daycare provisions, those moms and dads are asshats who don’t love their kids enough. They will someday regret being so eager to ship them off. I heard just this kind of privileged suburban mom banter in the school uniform store last week. It was that brand of showy conversation, laced with fake exasperation and too-loud everything, not uncommon when a pair of faux-busy, always SO busy!!, moms share an orbit, with their kids standing below absorbing every word. How it must feel to know your parent doesn’t want you around. I hate that mom and others like her.

3:45pm arrived on schedule, hugs and kisses exchanged, excited storied told, and we headed straight to Maggie Moo’s ice cream parlor for our traditional cones and photo shoot. And then we began a new tradition: Chinese food for dinner. Specifically orange chicken and scallion pancakes. Yum. More stories were told. New buddies were described by hair color and curls/no curls because names are harder to keep on the tips of tongues. Teacher personalities were outlined by their tone and anticipated meanness/kindness ratio.

Back to school is unavoidable. It will happen every year for another dozen or so. But that doesn’t mean I have to like it.

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