I have so many things I want to talk about swirling around in my head, but today, the swirliest of them all is that my kids started a new school!!!
Really! Just! Started! As in twenty minutes prior to the composition of this blog post.
It's something I never had to do as a child. I didn't know the before-the-first-day anxiety spent worrying about how to find the lunchroom and whether anyone would talk to me.
Will the teacher be nice? Should I take chorus or band or strings? What if my hair looks wrong? What if the food in my lunch isn't what other people are eating (too healthy, not healthy enough)? What if I wear flip flops and we start the school year off with gym class?
All throughout the too-long Labor Day weekend the kids were enacting their own version of Wemberly Worries, a favorite childhood book by Kevin Henkes that gently pokes fun of the childhood genius for worry.
The funny (or not so funny) thing about all this free-floating anxiety, is it's contagious. Like the flu, but worse because there's no proven inoculation.
As I was leaving the school after drop-off this morning to the sounds of the Pledge of Allegiance being recited over the intercom it a) made me realize how far we are from Portland and b) touched off my own bout of the Wemberly Worries.
What if the kids stand up when they aren't supposed to, or what if they don't stand and someone has to remind them?
What if they spill something on their clothes and their day is ruined? What if the dress code doesn't allow earrings? Was I bad mom to tell her they looked adorable? What if squeezing in at the last moment before the bell rang gets them off to a bad start? What if I go to the wrong flag pole to pick them up? What if they hate the new school and decide to take me up on my flippant offer to homeschool?
Truly, there's no vaccine against the worries.
But there is coffee. And there is writing. And there is the knowledge that this week, all across the country other kids and parents are joining in with their own, not so variant theme, on the Wemberly Worries. In the book version, everything turns out fine. I'm keeping my fingers crossed and hoping that, in this case, life will imitate fiction.