If you’ve got kids, you’ve got to post the perfect first day of school picture on Facebook / Twitter/ Instagram/ Periscope. You’re little sweety waving & smiling as they board the bus. Or blowing you a kiss thru the car window. Hanging up their backpack in the perfectly neat row of cubbies in their new classroom. And then a mom and kid pic – you smiling with your trying to look like you woke up like that make-up on, hair combed and a clean blouse and cute still-summer shorts.
As if the first day of school isn’t stressful enough!
Because this is probably the first day in almost two months that you’ve had to wake up your whole family before 8 am. And if you are lucky enough to have high schoolers, you’ve had to get up at the break of dawn. Then you had to pack lunches, and realized that since you went to the grocery store last week, the kids ate all the snack bags of chips over the weekend and handed out the juice boxes to their friends at the pool. And where are all those dang forms, especially the one that proves your kid got his measles shot this summer so they will let him in the school door?
You spent a mortgage payment on back-to-school clothes, but the little one refuses to wear the new outfit you picked out – the identical pink dress or red and blue striped shirt that they wear every year so that it looks so cute in the scrapbook on the “how they are growing” page. Instead, they want to wear their favorite summer movie t-shirts, so your daughter is wearing a Minion t-shirt and overalls with fake black glasses and your son is wearing a Straight Outta Compton t-shirt and jeans and won’t smile.
And they changed what time everyone goes to school this year, pushing it back 15 minutes – just enough to screw up your schedule, but not really enough time to get any sleep that makes a difference – and changed the bus routes, so you actually have to check the bus route schedule this year for the bus your kids have been riding for 6 years to figure out what time its coming. But what mom worth her coffee puts her kids on the bus on the first day of school, so you’ve got to drive them to the door to prove to everyone that you aren't one of those free-range willy-nilly parents.
But before you load up the kids in the car, you’ve got to fix your hair and swipe on some lipstick and put on a real clothes. You cannot do the in-pajamas drop-off today because you know that other mom in your kid’s class is going to be there in an outfit that matches her kid’s, with a full face of make-up, unchipped manicure and hair fresh from the salon. She’ll be there with that cute-sy sign she made stealing an idea from Pinterest, a chalkboard with cute-sy lettering announcing the first day of school and the new grade. (She also wrote a funny haiku for her kid’s lunchbox, you’ll hear about that from your little on after school.)
There's just enough time to pour coffee in your car mug, search for the top, get the kids to stand on the front steps and not poke each other. Try to get a couple good shots of them smiling without making those goofy faces they usually do when you pull out a camera, but they never do when they are taking selfies. Hurry to school and try to get towards the front of that nightmare of a drop-off circle. And before the teacher on drop-off duty blows her whistle at you, you snap a couple more pictures of the kids in front of the school before they see their friends and you get one last picture of the back of their heads as they run into the school. Waving from the curb is the PTA President and if you make eye contact for too long, she’s going to ask you to chair the fall festival bake sale or to join the healthy food committee, so you wave, jump back in the car, and knock over your coffee onto your nice clean outfit.
Now to get home, flip through the morning pics, and find that one good picture of your lovely darlings and try to think of something new and catchy to say, but its been too hectic a morning for all that so you’ll just go with “first day of school – when did they get so big – tears” like everyone else.
Whew. Relax. Finish your coffee and clean up breakfast. In six hours, it’ll be time for the “home from the first day of school” picture.
Happy Back-to-School Day!
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