The kids went back to school today. I started freaking out about it Friday and proceeded to organize everything in my house, like it would somehow protect them from bullies, mean teachers, yucky food, and head lice. If everything was in just the right spot, what could go wrong? (I realize this is nuts. Thanks.)
I think I did pretty good at hiding my back-to-school and sending-my-baby-to-Pre-K anxiety from the children. I was all hearts and flowers and “It will be SO MUCH FUN! Aren’t you EXCITED?!” But inside I was like “Waaaaa! My babies.”
I’m not alone in this. My husband has called me three times this morning, the last time to ask if he “should just go take a peek and see how she’s doing.” No. That’s frowned upon. I know my limits, so I’m just staying away from that school. If any of the three kids even wrinkled a nose at me, I’d have ‘em packed in the car and the homeschool books ordered.
It’s not that I’m against public schools. It’s not that I think my local school is a bad school. It’s just that I love my kids the way they are. I hate how rigid the schools are and how every child is expected to be just like every other child. (My middle child is certainly well on his way to teaching them different.) I mean, c’mon, do ALL the pencils have to be plain yellow #2 pencils? If my kid, who hates school with such a passion, wants a freaking green pencil, I’m fine with that. My little one (who has been home with me since she first wiggled in my belly) was so excited to take her tiny little backpack today. No. No backpacks allowed. Because Lord knows what a 4-year-old might smuggle into school in a 6-inch My Little Pony backpack.
I see the pros of school. Interacting with peers, learning to follow rules, getting along with others, learning how to deal with assholes – these are all things children need to know. But not every kid is a yellow #2 pencil. I don’t want my purple-striped, glitter-covered, shiny-polka-dotted, maybe-chewed-a-little-bit pencils sharpened down until they match all the others.