What Type of Back To School Parent Are You?

 

Back to school season always leaves me with mixed feelings. As a teacher, I look forward to going back, showering daily, settling into a routine and feeling productive. As a mom – its quite different.

The hardest thing about being a teacher who has children is that you often are forced to miss their first day of school. One of my most painful memories was when I started teaching and was forced to miss my middle son Alex’s first day of kindergarten. Fortunately for me, his dad had flexible hours and was able to take him to the bus stop no sweat. However, Alex was never thrilled about going to school and at times was a nervous wreck in the mornings. Having to leave a stressed out child makes it even worse.

Yet, as time goes by and you spend a summer home with three very active boys, you yearn for the first day of school. There was one year that the City Schools and the Long Island Schools had different start dates. I was thrilled that I was able to see everyone off in the morning and even though they were older – it made my heart smile.

There are three extremely different trains of thought on this subject  – The moms who cry at the bus stop and chase the school bus, and the moms that feel a sense of relief that they can go home to an empty house and take a shower without waiting in line for the bathroom. And the third – the moms that decide to throw a party and have a “first day of school brunch.” I happened to be best friends with one of these moms and she planned the best back to school party ever. Even though it was many years ago, I can still recall the spread – Fresh bagels, fruit platters, muffins, fresh waffles,fluffy scrambled eggs and bacon – it was a brunch paradise. Of course she had pitchers of Mimosas and Bloody Mary’s too. All the ladies were chatting and some were teary but most were excited to be doing such a “taboo” thing on such a sacred day. Then, it happened – there was a knock at the door and a petite policeman came in and told us that we were making too much noise. We were appalled because we weren’t really making a lot of noise and it was a respectable 11am. Turns out this fella was not an actual policeman – if you know what I mean. He started shedding his clothes and some mommies were running to find singles in their purses and others were literally running out the back door! That was my fondest memory of that day – watching the horrified straight-laced mommies scamper from a classy back to school brunch – grabbing a muffin on their way out the back door and running for cover to their adjacent homes.

No matter which of these three types of parents you may be – back to school time definitely is a time for reflection – and a time to be proud that you have raised a child who hopefully was fortunate enough to graduate onto the next level. And heck, even if they didn’t and they had to make a course up over the summer – be proud that they did and are moving on. I am happy to report that Alex is no longer an anxious 6 year old. He is a confident 20 year old that is going into his third year of college. Sending your kids off to college is a whole other ball game…

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Author: Thea Ferzola

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