I like to pretend that I am in charge of absolutely everything that happens in this house.

With the exception of things that take place on the phone, like scheduling appointments or ordering Indian food, I have it handled.

I plan the vacations, I pick out the furniture, I make the dinner.

It’s partially because I am a woman and I am just better at stuff.

It’s also because I work from home so it’s just easier.

And honestly, if I left it to Andy, we’d be sitting on those hand shaped chairs from Sharper Image and eating Pickle flavored Pringles and sour Jelly Bellies with every meal.

And my ass size just can’t allow that to happen.

As I mentioned the other day, we are going though some stress regarding the boys’ school, and what better time to address this issue than the day before school starts, right?

In short, we are increasingly concerned their current private Catholic school has a very uncertain future, and we have decided for personal reasons not to send them to our local public school.

After talking it out over the course of the last few days, we decided to try and tough it out at their current private school.  We loved the school, I went their as a child, and we were just going to go into it hoping that all their red flag financial issues will be magically cured, because our biggest fear is Jude.

I could send Wyatt and Gigi to a preschool held in a meth lab taught by a poltergeist and they would do amazing. But not Jude.  He’s brilliant, but painfully shy, probably has some very mild sensory issues, despises change of any kind, and along with all of that, his overall health just leaves us all wanting a high level of comfort and continuity for him.

I would rather get Jude in place now at a stable school, then be forced to do it down the line.

Yesterday was the first day of kindergarten, and it was exciting.

Ok exciting for him, and more like, is this my fucking life now waking up every day at 6am OMG THIS FUCKING BLOWS, for me.

He put on his fancy pants uniform, and I stuffed his backpack with all the essentials parents are now expected to provide. Frankly, I was shocked tampons for the teacher’s lounge were not on the list.

I cried the entire way to school, for a myriad of reasons, really.  I was sad he was getting so big, my gut was telling me this didn’t feel right, and I was still peeing out of my butt from the Indian food the night before.

As we walked hand in hand into his very first day of elementary school we saw…no one.  No one telling us where to go, what to do, and as I followed the sound of the yelling, we came to the gymnasium full of kids and one mean looking old woman.

Hi, this is his first day of kindergarten, where do we go?

Here.

Oh ok, do we wait here to go back to the classroom?

You leave him here, the teachers will come get them when they are ready.

Right, but he doesn’t even know his teacher, and neither do I?

He just needs to sit on a bleacher until he gets led back.

I just leave him here alone?

Yes.

He’s five.

I can’t believe I left him in the gym. I left him crying on that bleacher with an old woman I didn’t know and walked outside into the cool air and bawled.  I called Andy from the front step of the school and told him what had happened, he urged me to go back inside, he said I had to go with my gut and make this decision on my own. But, I didn’t want to, he is more rational than I am, I need his otherwise annoying and condescending voice of reason.

As I reached the front door, I saw Jude being led back with six other children to the kindergarten classroom. I backed away.

Maybe it was irrational to think that he would go unnoticed and forgotten in a gym full of kids much bigger than him.

Maybe it was irrational to worry that he wouldn’t know how to pay for lunch in the cafeteria, and then get lost or separated from the group during recess.

Maybe it was irrational to worry that the front door to the school was left wide open for any crazy person off the street to wonder in and snatch children.

I went home and cleaned the carpet in the living room, sunroom and steps. But that only took an hour.

I went through my underwear drawer and threw away all my period week underwear, swearing to only wear cute panties from now on.

I booked a rental house for our October trip to Florida.

I researched breast lifts.

I watched two woodchucks having sex on the bank of my pond until I realized that they weren’t having sex at all.  They were trying to kill each other, so Wyatt and I threw carrots at them until they ran away.

I googled woodchuck intercourse so I wouldn’t make that mistake again.

I booked my tattoo appointment.

I watched an episode of Hoarders and then spent the next hour throwing entire Tupperware containers of moldy leftovers into the trash can.

It was my most productive/gut wrenching day ever.

I arrived ten minutes early for pick up, and when the kids were led past a huge group of waiting adults in the gym, Jude left his single file line and ran to me, hugging my waist tight.

The teacher never saw it.

I stood there, do I say, Oh hey, I have Jude, I’m his mom that you have never met ever, I’m going to leave the building with him now?

I decided, no.

I would leave with him, without saying a word.

No one stopped me. No one noticed.

Every crappy feeling in my body not relating to shrimp curry was confirmed.

After I wrote about our initial school concerns the other day, I received a lot of emails about your experiences, one negative one that made no sense at all, and one especially amazing email from a local woman who was in my very shoes three years prior.  We spoke on the phone and she spent an hour talking me off the ledge of saying fuck it to everything, buying chickens and homeschooling my kids until college, and instead gave some really awesome options.

Today we woke up early and headed to tour a new school just out of town.

We were buzzed in the front door to a waiting room, before we were buzzed into a second locked area of the main school.  It was shiny and new and safe and happy feeling.

The kids loved the colorful artwork lining the freshly painted walls and the children laughing and greeting them in every classroom we peaked into.

For thousands of dollars a year, Andy, my anxiety and I loved the buzzers.

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