Back to school. And yurts, filled to capacity.

Back to School, Education, Shopping.
Where’s the dark chocolate and zin?

Ah, yes. The beginning of the school year.

The happy chatter of children calling to one another on the playground, the smell of pencils, the glow of brightly colored backpacks.

The mommies you tried to avoid all summer. And maybe some of the daddies too.

#whome #notatmysonsschool #ofcourseiwasnttalkingaboutyou

I begin each year with a zen warrior attitude.

I mind my own business.

Cheerlead for my kids as they dig into new challenges.

I tell myself this year I will remain above the fray but in touch with the masses.

And yet, usually, within the first month I find myself searching real estate listings for a yurt in an isolated mountain meadow.

And possibly telling myself dark chocolate bark and a peppery zinfandel constitute antioxidants and resveratrol, a proper dinner really, if not any vitamins or minerals.

A few of my “favorite” types below. I’m betting they have a distant cousin in your school district. If so, then do I have a bottle of zin to share with you, sister. In the middle of a mountain meadow.

The oversight committee. You know these gals. The ones who slip into general conversation who little Junior recently played with, post pics of him with his “besties” regularly on social media and arrange outings on a regular basis so her little love will not be left out of any.

The mother who organizes more playdates than beers drunk at a college frat party. As she waxes eloquent about HOW much FUN the KIDDOS had at the FRIDAY NIGHT SLEEPOVER BASH, she falters. “YOUR SWEET MUNCHKIN was THERE, right? NO? Well, that was just such a SORRY OVERSIGHT. ANYHOO . . . “

Crazy mothers with her children riding to holidays.This committee tends to be grooming their children for prom king and queen, something these adults (and I use that term loosely) missed out on and have felt inadequate for ever since. This type of mommy organizes because her child may not otherwise have friends. Or so she fears. I guess we’ll never know, will we? Because the carpool is always full; she makes sure of that.

And in case you have only young children, words of wisdom from an older mom. These are generally the moms you see, years later, looking lost. When their kids hit high school and beyond, they still have a void, a large SUV and a knack for organizing. It’s just that they’ve lost their everyday life, which was actually—plot twist—their child’s everyday life.

The squatters. You will recognize these folks by the amount of time they spend at the school. It is, indeed, a second home. Whether board members, chronic volunteers or purely bored interlopers, they replace a void with time spent at school.

They roam the halls with an ease indicating they probably have a cot in the broom closet and shaved in the boys’ lavatory that morning. They make sure you know they are on a first-name basis with all teachers and administrators, and that they had another GREAT convo with the principal over beers the other night.

Forget having a normal conversation, a healthy back and forth, because these folks are in the KNOW and you, poor plebe, are sadly NOT. If only your day job wasn’t so inappropriately taking up your time.

woman at party or concert enjoying
Freebird?

The bad girl club. These moms are in denial, somehow, that they’ve actually married and had children. They throw back shots or beers as they reminisce about their bad girl days and how SHOCKING it is that they are actually MARRIED and have CHILDREN. They MISS the days where their time was their own and consisted of a mix of sex, drugs and rock ‘n roll.

They maintain friends with names that sound like heavy metal roadies or reptile classifications. They discuss how TRYING their children are and how BADLY they just need a BREAK. I usually hope they run the Halloween party (all those dark vibes bring such an appropriately Goth element) and then disappear because it is really so UNCOOL to have to continue to be at school functions.

I’m not sure what they thought when they procreated but they don’t seem to have realized math homework, school sing-a-longs and being a grown-up came along with it.

Oh, I could go on, friends. But why? I know you’ve already recognized at least one of these types in your immediate vicinity.

I do rent my yurt by the week but you better book early. I’m at full capacity about a month into the school year.

And by then, my dark chocolate and zin stores have a serious dent in them.

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19 Comments Add yours

  1. heyjude6119 says:

    ugh!
    This did bring back reminders and yes, they are the same everywhere. Are you a teacher or just a parent?
    So glad I’m done with this. 🙂 That will leave more room on your yurt.

  2. This post brought back fond memories of getting the children back to school after the holidays. (Despite the annoying other parents.) Ah! Those years go by so quickly. Enjoy!

  3. Amy says:

    You had me alternately cringing and chuckling throughout this delightful essay. Made me think of folks I had (thankfully!) forgotten, people I was forced to rub elbows with when our kids were in school. The oversight committee, the squatters, the bad girl club. Yep! Knew them all!!

    So glad you’ve got a yurt complete with all the trappings, a place where you can take off your warrior hat and put your feet up!! xox

    1. candidkay says:

      Isn’t it funny, Amy, that despite the geographic differences, most of us can relate to some caricatures? Glad you survived it and know I will too:).

  4. Aunt Beulah says:

    As a principal, I knew them all and could probably add horrifying details from a principal’s perspective — except that I’ve managed to repress them. I’ll just say that I would have loved to be able to rent your yurt every other weekend.

    1. candidkay says:

      PTSD therapy for principals . . . now there’s an idea . . .

  5. Ya made me smile. And dark chocolate bark — it is full of vitamins and other good stuff, right? That and the Zinfandel?

    1. candidkay says:

      Yes, Cynthia. Not quite a proper meal but it beats Fritos and vodka:).

  6. I want to join your Yurt commune! I feel like a crap parent because while I enjoy most of the kids in my sons class, their parents require me to take a valium to deal with them and I do not want to have a play date, bday party (seriously it’s mostly adults coming to my kids bday party next weekend – only ones I like!) or anything else… He is only in Pre-K!!!! I’m so screwed! LOL
    I needed this!

    1. candidkay says:

      Oh my. You need a yurt timeshare if he is only in pre-K! Invest now:). Hope the party is a ball. Sounds like you won’t need that Valium:).

    1. candidkay says:

      Why, I already have your glass poured:).

  7. Thankfully (and I use that term very loosely), I worked through all that…now I hardly ever see my kids (and their ‘now’ kids). Go figure.
    It’s a very simple equation…we are taught with ‘our’ parents faults and try to make up for them in our own way…with the faults we are taught. Big journey!
    And by the time we realise we have somehow missed the boat with our children, they have already taken ‘our’ faults on and are struggling through ‘their’ stuff, just like us, and thinking to themselves (as we did), I don’t have a problem.
    Ah life! What a journey. We could interject when they are really young at school and teach them better interaction ‘skills’, but could you imagine them going home and telling mum and dad they must act this way or that…the courts would go spak!
    Plus, there would no longer be any fun for your post Kay AND that lovely desire to go Zen and live in a yurt and eat dark chocolate 😀

  8. Yes, yes, and YES!!!!!! I need anxiety meds just to walk into my kids’ new school this year, or least a strong glass of wine. And I’ve clearly told THREE different people that I CAN NOT be Room Mother for my 2nd grader’s class; I don’t know how else to say it. I’m still trying to find my way out out my new neighborhood. I’ll be glad to volunteer for something, but Room Mother ain’t happening right now. Peace. I’ll happily join you at the yurt commune.

    1. candidkay says:

      Sounds like a well-practiced no comes in handy:). Glad you’re keeping it real and balanced!

    2. heyjude6119 says:

      A simple no, I won’t be able to do that is sufficient. Don’t give them reasons, or they’ll argue. Just “No, that won’t work for me.”
      It’s worked wonders for me.

  9. I’m so lucky not to have to deal with these wonderful examples of humanity! But your thoughts of rising above it ring bells every time I return to work after a break 🙂

    1. candidkay says:

      I guess whether it is work or school, Andrea, being a Zen warrior is that much harder when you’re rubbing shoulders with the rest of humanity :-). I guess that’s why they call it being a warrior.

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