Saturday, September 11, 2010

Why are they SO HAPPY the kids are back in school?

I've heard dozens of mothers across the area sigh, saying "Yay!  School started!"
I'm kind of baffled, honestly. I honestly don't mean to sound snooty or superior or holier-than-thou. I simply don't understand why these mothers and fathers are so happy and relieved to be separated from their children for 35 hours a week...or for 20 hours a week...

Listen, I understand the need to have a few minutes or hours to yourself where the kids aren't knocking on your bathroom door, picking up the telephone while you are on it, expecting regular infusions of food constantly. I haven't even been in the tub alone without interruption for over two weeks! (ASK YOUR DAD!  He's the other adult in the house!) Surely the ability to complete a thought (or a magazine article!) has it's appeal. Certainly I can appreciate the total and utter appeal of silence. Silence, aaaahhhh. (And, here, I am referring to the silence that doesn't leave you running around the house looking for children sneaking Ding Dongs or whispering snotty stuff to a sister or brother so I don't hear.)

But WHY would I want to be away from these kids for HOURS for days and days? Why? Are we, as a society so brainwashed into thinking that their lives should be over....HERE and my life should be over..........HERE?  Are you buying that? 

From the time my kids were born, my mom has always teased me that they are so attached to me. She'll tease me, insinuate that this makes them weird, and then wistfully hug them. She is convinced that me being with the kids is a BAD THING and that I am constantly in need of TIME ALONE. She seems to think that there is something wrong with me, with us because we don't long to be away from each other.

It is difficult for her to see that we love this arrangement! We enjoy one another. We actually want to be together! What, exactly, does she think I am missing by not being "ALONE"?

My friend down the street went to a "MOMS LUNCH", all caps, the second day the kids were back in school. WOO HOO. Now, for the next 178 days of school...?

Look, I can see celebrating a free day or two, but 178? Who needs it?
Why is she so happy??? Will these MOMS LUNCHES keep up all year? No, of course not. The moms will go back to their own homes or places of work or other employment and spend them alone or busy.

Is it possible that they have just bought the idea that they "should"?
Is it the "new shoes", "new clothes", "new friends"? Let's face it, new shoes are expensive, new clothes are "old" the second time wearing them, and there are, genuinely, few new friends from year to year. I'm convinced that these contrivances entirely to persuade the masses what they "need" to do. It is rather shocking to hear the moms cheering and cartwheeling across the lawns...

Who enjoys the PTA meetings? Who enjoys the SELLING CANDY and other crap? Who enjoys having someone else tell you your schedule daily? Who enjoys early nights, early mornings, two days to relax, and dreading Sunday night? Have you forgotten homework battles? Late night headaches of work? How about a thousand illnesses? Have you forgotten the required parental activities? Day care? Car pools? Fire drills? The need for emergency and "stranger danger" drills? Getting out of the house on time? Hungry and tired children in the mornings? Meeting the expectations of the school at all times?

Is it a matter of habit?
Well, I for one, am THRILLED that we are celebrating NOT GOING BACK TO SCHOOL!
WOO Hoo!

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