Monday, May 8, 2017

Dear Sugar: To the Mom About to Lose Her Shit at the End of the School Year

Dear Sugar:

First, let's be clear. I love our school district.  I do.  Amazing. Everyone from principals to bus drivers.    

But this end-of-school shit.  I cannot even.

When I was a kid (I know, I sound like I'm 103 years old):  we had ONE special thing at the end of school. ONE.  Last day.  We got tickets and had a school "carnival" on the playground with games, soda, and popcorn.  Not name-brand soda, either.  Then just after we were about to experience an epic blood sugar crash, we were sent home for three (full!) blissful months of swimming, bike riding, and hole digging.  Summer was magical.  And schools were smart:  they only had one day of crazy town before they smirked, said "buh bye," and sent us home.   

Then there's now.  

My son came home the other day with a note in his backpack.   Less than 24 hours notice, parents. All the kids need to wear "cowboy" clothing to school for a special story time event.   We don't own a single thing that would constitute as "cowboy wear." We live just outside St. Louis, not Dallas.  Not one.  Single. Cowboy.  Item. 

Also, can we talk about the fact that he is four.  Four.  As in, he was in diapers and eating mashed butternut squash not that long ago.  All he cares about is Paw Patrol, snack time, and saying "poop ball" to make his sisters laugh while they eat dinner.   

I get requests for money, announcements for special events (that cost money), special dress days, and also, I need to volunteer.  Good moms volunteer.  Often.  But here's the catch.  Bringing siblings to volunteer opportunities if forbidden.  So what am I to do with my 7 month old?  Oh, right.  Let the four-year-old babysit her. Cool.  They can play in the knife drawer and then have a scavenger hunt to find the matches, cleaning supplies, and medications.   (Insert eye roll.)  

My e-mail inbox is overflowing with "reminders."   Flagged.  Bolded.  Italicized.  Most have e-mail subjects that include the word IMPORTANT. 

Tell me I'm not alone.  Are all moms about to lose their shit right now?  Every single last one of us?  Like, if we wouldn't be hotlined for surburban mommy neglect (good moms DO NOT give up during school spirit week---rah, rah!), we would have given up four weeks ago.   

And a word about our teachers?  Teachers are pretty much next in the holy line, one tier down from Jesus Christ.   Those teachers aren't just managing twenty (plus) children, all of whom have an epic case of Spring Fever and act like every day is lit by a full moon made of red dye #40, but they are mothering children themselves!   How do they do it?  HOW DO THEY DO IT?    

What is going on? Where is my inner peace? Someone stole it and stapled it to a packet of reminders, stuffed in my child's backpack. I feel like I've aged twenty years over the past few weeks...and I'm scared I'll end up being an eighty-year old in a thirty-five-year-old's body by the end of the school year.   Ya'll.  I am on the freaking verge of buying velcro-strapped shoes, carring around caramel chewy candies to hand out to stranger-children, wearing elastic pants that match an embroidered sweatshirt, and eating chili with stale Saltines for lunch every day.   

I don't even have the energy for a side eye.  Or my personal go-to-, the eye roll.  The only energy I have left is for shut-eye.  KWIM?    

I can't give one more damn.  

Here's the deal:  My child doesn't need a magical end of school three week-marathon complete with fruity-not-real-fruit popsicles and crazy sock days. My child needs yoga.  I need wine.  Teachers need naps and Starbucks gift cards.  

Please, please, please.  Just let the children have 5+ recesses a day for the next few weeks and call it Physical Education.  And please, let them climb up the slides.  It's OK.  Please offer them loads of raw veggies (no dyes, no sugars) and call it Nutritional Science.   Please let them organize and clean out their classrooms (call it Socialization and Math) while the teacher sits with her feet propped up on the desk reposting memes on Insta.  (God bless our teachers. They are ANGELS.)  Please tell the kids to gather up all spare papers, even ones with important announcements, and recycle them (Environmental Science).  Please encourage the kids to wear whatever they want (self expression!) and call it Art.

I won't call the school district and complain.  I promise.  

Because right now, here are the things this mom would rather do than deal with the reality of the end-of-the-school-year:

-get a Pap.  Or two.  Even three!   

-eat coconut, baked beans, and yogurt (three of the most disgusting foods ever): as a smoothie

-learn how to use Excel

-read Bernstein Bears books to my little angels at bedtime

-clean up puke

-watch ten episodes of my husband's "man shows" (Storage Wars, anyone?), commercials welcome   

-listen to the Mickey Mouse Clubhouse theme song on repeat for 24 hours

I know, soon I'll be saying, "Is summer over yet???"  But for now, for now, I just need someone to stop me from eating ALL the carbs.  (It's not good for my blood sugar, you know).   Rachel, put down the scone.  Put it down.  Good.  Good.  Now slowly back up.  Slowly.  Rachel!  PUT DOWN THE SCONE.  

I know. I'll make it.  You'll make it too.  We'll be ok.  We always are. We are strong.  We are resilient.  We are determined.  And guess what? We do it all without wearing cowboy wear.  Because we are awesome.  Because we are moms.   


  1. How'd you get in my head? Seriously i need to know. I so relate to this and am in the same choo choo train. Ugh. Who's driving this thing?

  2. It sounds like you've been talking to Jen Hatmaker.

  3. I'm laughing my ass off... too good :)


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