Yesterday I was chatting with one of my friends who is sending her firstborn off to his first year of preschool this year. She and I and Alicia were all chatting about this huge day in mom and son's life when I sort of got on my soap box.
Everyone seems surprised the first time they hear that I do NOT like my boys going back to school. They are stunned. But the teachers and staff have gotten used to me after all these years (how old do I sound now) and know that I am a useless parent to talk to the first week. I walk around all wet with tears and blotchy with emotion. I'm an ugly mess.
But I try to smile while I drop the boys off, leaving my youngest for the last toughest goodbye.
Yes, S4 goes to school full time this year. Each and every day. Leaving not a single child in my care for a few hours.
But this, this is why I despise school.....
I despise it because for three months I get to be the mom. I get to care for my boys and know what has happened in their day before they excitedly tell me about it. If they are mad or sad or bored or have a thrilling book or a new fort of a great catch, I know it.
I can tell when they are hungry (which, granted, is always), over tired, frustrated, irritated with each other, bored out of their mind, dreading the field work, too excited to sit still because they know a beach day is coming.
I know every book they are reading and I love this because I can talk S1 about it and I treasure those moments.
Then school starts.
I drop them off and for the first week or so I may get a full detail.....
That I get from them but I have not actually taken part in.
I have no idea who they played with at recess, if they were nice or mean, if they liked their lunch, if they ate it all, if they were sad at all, if they were lonely.
I get bits of information here and there but soon enough I only hear if they had a good day or not and am informed they need food.
Not to mention that as soon as school starts, they have MEAP testing. I hate MEAP testing. I know it is of no fault of my boys teachers, but the state test that puts such stress on the boys so that all they can think about and talk about is MEAP and hope and pray they can pass causes my intense hate of the stupid test. It's weeks before they actually begin to learn anything at all at school because we all are stressed and taking MEAP tests.
The school gets them for seven hours. It takes an hour for them to arrive home on the bus. That leaves me approx. four hours with them.
In that four hours I have to feed them snacks, dinner and before bed snacks. We have at least one hour of homework with each of the younger boys, the older two retreat to their bedrooms because the table is now always being set or cleared of dinner or homework and then the line to the shower begins.
In that mere four hours I also have two hours of football to look forward to this fall, and church wants us for another whole night.
I have no snuggle time, no one on one time to know who my boys are anymore.
Oh sure, I get letters home from the teacher telling me this and that....but I don't know them anymore. I give my boys over to the school and loose nearly everything about them.
When school lets out for the summer, it takes a few weeks for them to return to the boys I know. And when they do, the summer truly begins.
And when school approaches I brace myself for nine months without the close relationship our family shares.
It rips my heart out.
And that is why I despise school.
Even if the school my boys attend is a school I love dearly. It's not the teachers...it's the time away from my boys that makes me despise school.
And that is my soap box for the day.