School House Rock

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Yesterday was the first day of school and my girl was completely prepared. In fact, she’s been ready to roll since 4:30 a.m. Monday, when she was up—and dressed—to meet her teacher. She couldn’t understand why we couldn’t leave then for an event scheduled to begin at 3:15 p.m.

All of a sudden the eleven weeks of summer vacation seem very short. It was like no time had passed when we set foot inside the school at the meet-your-teacher event. We had a wonderful summer. Through luck and loyalty, I was able to secure a sweet summer schedule from my employer. I worked almost exclusively from home. Yay me.

Sure, there were days of boredom and arguments about chores and excessive TV, but mostly, it was great spending that time at home with my kiddos. I think the time went more slowly for her, though. In the days leading up to the start of school, my daughter took out her yearbook (yes from kindergarten!) and leafed through the pages, reminiscing about the people and events pictured in the pages and wondering what changes first grade had in store.

On School Day Numero Uno, not only did my daughter not want Mommy to drive her to school, but she didn’t want anyone to walk her to her classroom.

In fact, both kids announced that Daddy would be taking them to school Wednesday morning. My son saw the look on my face and empathized immediately: “I want someone to ride with Mommy.” He didn’t volunteer, you notice, but at least he’s got my back. Daddy’s more fun, has a faster car, and listens to Pearl Jam really loud. Hell, I wanted Daddy to take me. Plus, he’s had a change in schedule and is now available to do more round-trip taxi duty.

So that was the plan. Lunches were made. Backpacks locked and loaded. Milk money doled out. Transportation set. And then the three of them headed out the door with barely a “bye Mom.” All that was left for me to do was get dressed and go to work.

That was it. I barely knew what to do with my new found time.

Several people throughout the day asked me how the girl did on her first day of school.

“Fine! Great! She went in by herself and found her classroom, no prob! Didn’t even want me to take her!”

I’m thrilled about her love for school and independence, but I felt a little cheated that I didn’t get to hold her hand and walk her in to the classroom, kiss her goodbye.

I broke ranks later in the day and said I’d pick up the girl even though that was not the plan. I could no longer stand being left out of the first day of school activities.

I arrived a little early. Some first and second graders were being drilled on the proper dismissal procedure in front of the school. She saw me, but didn’t run to me or even appear excited to see me. Wow.

But as soon as the drill sergeant (AKA the assistant principal) released the troops from their lesson, my girl ran to me, threw her arms around my waist and buried her face in my belly.

“Come with me to my classroom to get my backpack,” she pleaded, tugging my hand toward the door.

Mommy’s still got it … and it means the world to me.

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