At the start of every summer, I focus all my hope on the first day of school. When school begins again, I tell myself, everything will be okay. I can survive those long, hot days of summer vacation because the first day of school will arrive to usher in a new era of sanity. On that day, I will bid a fond farewell to my oldest children at 7:30 AM, and greet them as they thump down the bus steps at 3:20 PM, exhausted and full of knowledge. I picture myself leaving their school after that first morning drop-off like a Disney princess: birds singing sweetly around my head, deer approaching me shyly – maybe I’ll even attempt a twirl for good measure.
And every year I am shocked — shocked! – at how school fails to be the happy ending I’d expected.