I’m Glad Your Child Loves School – Mine Almost Threw Up
So far today I have viewed at least two dozen photos on Facebook of deliriously happy children jumping for joy over their first day of school. The kids are cute, to be sure – one beaming, wide-eyed girl looks like she’s going to burst, she’s so damn happy. So I’d have to be a pretty evil, stone-cold person to say I don’t want to see any more of these shots. But, somewhere deep down, I want to delete them from my Facebook account – and memory – forever.
You see, if I were to post a photo of my own five-year-old child from this morning, on his very first day of school, you’d see a ghostly pale child looking terrified. And if I were to post one of my close friend’s kid, you’d see the same thing but with a some vomit added to the mix. Or, better yet, if I were to capture a snapshot of the school hallway this morning, you’d see a little three-year-old running for the door and madly trying to escape (an accompanying video would include blood-curling screams).
It’s not that I’m bitter about these happy Facebook children (wait, I sound bitter, don’t I?). It’s more a combo of envy – why isn’t my kid smiling sweetly and posing for the camera with his shiny new backpack? – and disbelief. Are the majority of children truly that ecstatic about being back at school? And, if so, how comes mine’s not?
I’m smart enough to know that my child’s internal freak-out and outright trembling is not indicative of a bigger issue. He’s healthy and capable, thank goodness, and I know in my gut that he’ll be 100% fine (maybe even great). But these “first-day fabulous” shots still get to me. I joked to my colleagues that I’m going to start a “Shitting Over First Day Of School” Facebook page for people like me. They cracked up and said they would totally check it out (“My favorite pictures in the world are screaming [kids on] lap of Santa photos,” revealed one). So at least I know I’m not alone here.
But, truth be told, if my other child, my two-year-old, gets excited about pre-school tomorrow – if he willingly runs into the classroom and says, “Bye bye, Mama” with nary a tear – you better believe I’ll be capturing that on film. And possibly even sharing it with 400 of my nearest and dearest. So, yeah, I’m a hypocrite. And well aware of the fact that Facebook photos are not indicative of “real” life. It’s kind of like when moms post photos of their newborns looking all sweet and peaceful and angelic. They are all those things, sure, but where are the screaming/crying/up-all-night/poo-up-the-back varieties? Exactly…