Today was the first day of school and the kids were quite excited. I was surprised because I thought it would be a total whine-fest, so I bought them each a new T-shirt in anticipation, thinking it might ward it off. It worked. Usually, both of my children will find things that upset them and take turns waking me at 6 a.m. with loud declarative sentences like “I don’t wanna go to school” or “No-one likes me,” or the ever popular “It’s not fair.”
“That’s right kid, life’s not fair. Look at your mother – fifteen years ago she landed in New York City and for about five minutes she was the next big thing on the New York stand-up scene. And now look at her – can’t get arrested in this town…”
Oh sorry, I went all Chinatown for a minute…
Our normally rational elementary school had held onto one of the kids’ school reports from the end of last year because we lost some library books, which seemed a little incongruous; like we were getting punished for reading. It’s not like we’re going to skip town and not give you your fifteen bucks for “The Bookmaker and the Elves” – I’m pretty sure the Santa Monica Malibu School District knows how to find us…
Anyway, they finally released the hostage report today and I was disturbed by the brilliance of the kids’ grades. The comments was all “He’s a joy to teach” and the percentages were ridiculously high. Wonder Dad was nice enough to point out my genetic contribution, but my reports inevitably had “she talks too much in class.” Every year. From birth. So clearly our child only has verbarrhea at home.
But sometimes he doesn’t want to go to school anyway. And who can blame him? I would rather sit at home today tripping my tits off on Psilocybin mushrooms, but instead I have to deal with a puppy throwing up weird liquid, chauffeur around children who may or may not kick the back of my seat while I’m driving and get ready to move house in the next few weeks, which if you didn’t know is considered equally stressful as losing a spouse. “It’s not fair.”
The best part of the first day at school for me was seeing all the moms I didn’t get to see during the summer. And even a small chunk of the dads. There are some parents at our school I truly adore, and although I tried not to take it personally that I barely saw any of them during the summer, by the time the first day of school came around, I felt like “I don’t wanna go to school” as I had already resigned myself to the fact that “No-one likes me.”
I found out today that people just get busy, and involved with their families, and they move house too, and they light up when we see each other and we kiss on the cheek and make dirty jokes and it’s like no time has passed at all and that is such a gift.
There are 7.74 billion people in the world. Roughly 314,226,686 of those live in the United States. And yet most of the time I feel completely alone.