I was chatting with a friend the other day about the first day of school when she told me that the mothers at her daughter’s school were crying at drop-off. Did you hear that? They were CRYING! “What?” I half-laughed/half-swallowed my tongue. “Should I assume they were tears of joy?”
“Not exactly,” she laughed. “They were sad that summer was over.”
Huh? Did she just say they were SAD? “What the hell is there to be SAD about?” I scoffed. “Were those the moms whose children were starting kindergarten?”
“Nope,” she answered coolly, “those were the moms in every class, including ours!”
We laughed for a long time at their expense, swapping anecdotes and calculating our free time, and then I started to think about it. I mean, I get it… kids are great and all, but after being cooped up with them all summer, why the hell would anyone want MORE? “There must be something WRONG with them,” I thought. “Perhaps I can be of some assistance —but how?”
Should I print out a few posters? Pamphlets? Drink tickets? What?
It occurred to me that those mothers were not just depressed or seeking companionship; they were scholastic virgins in dire need of a maternal sabbatical. They needed to feel alive again — to pop their parenting cherries, without guilt, while simultaneously bidding their children a deliberate and cheerful adieu. This was their time to shine, and I wasn’t about to let that opportunity slide by without a little nudge from yours truly.
Therefore, I decided to put a list together of all the reasons why they should be celebrating this monumental occasion instead of blubbering like nurturing fools. I wanted them to know that it’s okay to be sad (for two minutes), but that it was also time to throw caution to the wind and embrace their inner solitude because that is what the school year should be: a joyous and carefree season designed specifically for moms so they can get shit done.
So, whether you are a mother lamenting over drop-offs and leisurely naps or one serving high-fives with shots of tequila, there is one thing you both have in common: the school year has begun, and below are 20 reasons why you should be applauding it instead of crying.
1. You can hear yourself think.
2. You can pee with the door open.
3. No one is going to stick their head in the shower the second you step in.
4. If you want to, you can curl your hair.
5. You have fewer dishes to wash.
6. If you make a sandwich, you only have to make one.
7. The only arguments are the ones that happen before they leave.
8. There’s no SpongeBob.
9. Doing laundry will no longer require taking breaks to prepare snacks.
10. The toys will remain in one room until the bell rings.
11. You are guaranteed not to hear the word “Mommy” repeated 38 times in a row.
12. If you buy a bag of M&M’s, you get to eat the whole thing.
13. The only whine you’ll hear is the sound of a cork popping.
14. You can nap if you want.
15. If you walk around naked, no one laughs.
16. The only ass you’ll wipe is your own.
17. Going to Target won’t cost you an extra toy.
18. You can clean the house without a helper.
19. If there is a toy you despise, you can destroy it without getting caught.
20. Bedtime happens a lot sooner.