first day of school

It may be an understatement to say that dropping your pride and joy off on their first day of school isn’t easy. “Will the teacher treat them well? Are they ready? Am I ready?!”

Your mind is probably racing. But find relief in the fact that most of the parents around you are having the same thoughts. Can you relate to any on this list?

1. Is my kid really that old?

It seems like only yesterday she was naked and screaming. Wait — that was yesterday. Please let her keep her clothes on at school.

2. Am I really that old?

I can’t have a 5-year-old. I’m young and hip. Do people still say hip? I’ll ask someone wearing bellbottoms.

3. Are the other parents that old?

That dad looks like he’s 16. Did he have his kid when he was 11? If anyone asks if my child is my grandchild, I’ll complain the whole way back to the nursing home.

4. Is it OK if I walk my kid to her classroom?

I don’t have attachment issues. I just want to be with her a moment longer before she starts school and graduates college and only visits at Christmas. Can I ground her now for being a bad daughter in the future?

5. What’s that smell?

All schools start out smelling like new carpet, fresh paint, and fear. Unless that’s not the school. Maybe I should’ve worn more deodorant.

6. So that’s the teacher?

I held three days of interviews to hire my kid’s first babysitter, and she only watched my daughter while I walked to the mailbox. If this strange woman I’ve never seen before thinks she can just waltz in here and take charge of my daughter’s life for the next 180 days, well, I guess she’s right.

7. This teacher seems nice.

After talking to her a bit, she comes off as polite, fun, and extremely smart. There were no red flags whatsoever. Of course, that’s exactly what a psychopath would want me to think.

8. There are a lot more cool gadgets in the classroom than when I was a kid.

Wow, the marker board in here is also an interactive computer. When I was in school, the teacher wrote with chalk, and to get it she had to fight a pterodactyl.

9. Do I have to read this entire school handbook?

This thing is like 40 pages long. It’s kindergarten, not a space shuttle. I’ll figure it out as I go along.

10. I have no idea what’s going on.

Why did I throw away that stupid handbook?

11. My kid looks so big.

Look at my daughter, sitting there at a desk. Just like I do at work. Wait, I know where this road leads. Don’t be like me, girl. Get out while you still can.

12. My kid looks so small.

That boy over there is twice my kid’s size. Did he get held back in preschool? Like, multiple times? Or maybe he just ate his vegetables. Wait, does he have a mustache?

13. Did I teach my kid enough?

If she’s a step behind the other kids, she won’t get into a good college, and she’ll end up homeless under a bridge. Then she can never host Thanksgiving dinner and I’ll be forced to have it at my house every year. I hate doing dishes.

14. Will my child make friends?

I didn’t have time to teach her the social nuances of — oh, she made nine friends before I finished that sentence. Maybe I should take lessons from her.

15. What if they become more than friends?

She’s growing up too fast. I better lay down some firm dating rules right now. Rule 1: Don’t. That should cover it.

16. Did I dress my daughter the right way?

I spent hours selecting the perfect outfit to help her fit in while still being unique. She promptly ignored it and wore a T-shirt with dinosaurs instead.

17. How did she get a grass stain on her brand-new pants?

At no point during the walk from the car to the school did she encounter a single blade of grass. Her ability to ruin clothes is supernatural. Maybe I should enroll her at Hogwarts.

James Breakwell