Humor Magazine

On Leaving the Nest

By Mommabethyname @MommaBeThyName

One would think that I might be overly anxious to get my kids into school. One would think that, after three years of full-on Toddleritis, I would be dropping my kids off at the nearest brick building.

I’ve been sitting on the necessary paperwork to enroll my kidsimmediately in our town’s preschool for about three weeks now. I don’t like that word immediate. It just sounds so immediate, doesn’t it?

Like, we’re going to rip those kids from your fleshy loins right now.

I won’t go so far as to say I have been thinking about having another baby, because we, uh, shut down that terminal a few years ago. I also won’t go so far as to say I’ve been surfing international adoption sites, because that would clearly be false. I’m just saying that if you take my babies away from me, I am going to be a wreck who is home alone for a few hours each day, suddenly capable of completing tasks and projects, writing, cleaning, and even leaving the house of my own volition.

In return, I will get preschool bullies, who, should they hurt my kids, so help me God, the privilege of bathing three kids nightly, and the responsibility of getting all three tiny asses to Point A (What is Point A, anyway? The bus stop?) each and every weekday morning until the summer.

I don’t know if you know me or not, but if you do, you know arriving anywhere on time is not my strong suit. It never has been. And I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t petrified of an elementary school teacher sassing me as I sat at a small metal desk with green legs.

We have such a great thing going on here now. Me, exhausted, disheveled, dressed in rags, my house looking like the set of Twister, my kids in my sight at all times, smearing pizza sauce all over my brand new favorite chair cushions. It’s a difficult gig to give up.

I know. I know. It’s not fair. They’ll have to get out there and experience things, experience life, learn on their own. Or I could just tell them about it. I could tell them that the kid with the buzz cut is going to turn into more of a dick around twelve, and probably sucker punch my son in the gym locker room over a wayward dodge ball. I could tell them that no matter how hard they try, they will always get the desk with the wobbly chair. I could tell them that school lunch generally sucks, unless Jamie Oliver has commandeered the kitchen. I could tell them that they’ll be laughed at, laughed with, included, excluded, accepted, rejected, and revered all in a matter of a week. I could tell them the horrors of the lunch table, the school dances, the relentless pursuit of acceptance, and a whole bunch of stuff I don’t know yet about how the Internet plays into school-aged lives.

I could homeschool them. I’m sure of it. I am also sure that I am the sole advocate of homeschooling under this roof. I could shelter them, save them, much like poor Carrie White’s mother sheltered her daughter. Prayer closet aside, she wasn’t so bad, was she?

But I thought about it further, how they wouldn’t experience the success, the butterflies, the sleepovers, the mall trips, the pep rallies, or Pizza Day, either.

And I realized that, though I’d sooner swallow them all to protect them from harm, I must cut the cord. They must leave the nest.

And they will.

In September. Maybe.

I have to think about it.

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