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I made a terrible mistake Monday morning after I dropped Little Guy at camp. It has haunted me all week. Every time I think about it, I break into a cold sweat and start to feel a little panicky. I’m not even sure now what I was thinking when it happened. I drove by the school!

This coming Tuesday is the first day of school. It’s a big deal! You can never redo the first day of Grade ____. It’s the first day to make friends (or enemies), to make a good impression (or bad), and to start good habits (or develop rotten ones).

The lump in my stomach usually begins to form right around the end of July – right about the same time the racks of school supplies appear. The formidable walls of higher learning with their rows of unsharpened pencils, brightly coloured erasures, nifty highlighter pens, and stacks of glossy binders. Instruments of torture to mold the minds of hapless babes.

Within a week those pencils will be broken, the erasers deeply buried at the bottom of backpacks, and those glossy binders will be scrawled over with pink hearts and the names of girls.

Then the inevitable onslaught of “back to school” ads begin – whiny kids who want their incredibly stupid parents to sell a kidney on the black market so they can have the latest & best pair of sneakers on the catwalk. The obnoxious jingles that stick in your head like gum in a little girl’s ponytail, and visions of enraptured parents riding metal carts down the aisle of the office supply aisle. “No!” I want to scream. “No, it’s not the ‘most wonderful time of the year’”! Summer isn’t over yet…

“I’m gonna soak up the sun, gonna tell everyone to lighten up….”

Let me break this down for you mathematically.

I have spent 20 years of my life in school, from kindergarten to the end of 2 college degrees and my law clerk certification.
Big Guy has spent 16 years of my life in school, from kindergarten to the end of college.
Little Guy has spent 7 years of my life in school, from kindergarten to Grade 5 (starting next week).

Assuming those years were consecutive and not sometimes concurrent, when you add that up, that’s 43 years. I’m only 42! I’ve been living a life time sentence in formal education!!

“For every time I feel lame, I’m looking up -I’m gonna soak up the sun…”

I am dreading that one unreasonable teacher who pushes all my buttons, the bullies who never get what’s coming to them, the fights over homework, or worse, the notes from the unreasonable teacher about homework not handed in after we fought about it!! Last year I got a note asking me to let Little Guy do his homework before I spent time teaching him Minecraft! As if I had my priorities in the wrong place!

It’s the research projects, the book reports, the French verb conjugations, the math questions that are over my head. It’s the tears and wailing and gnashing of teeth – I try to keep it down but sometimes I’ve just got to let it out or I’ll explode! And let’s not forget the peer pressure, the sex education, the girlfriends with tattoos and piercings! It’s all too much! I’m on the edge of a panic attack and there may be no way back!

School hasn’t even started yet and I’m already desperately in need of summer vacation!