I have distracted myself with many things over the last few days-the Palin Pick (Thank You Sweet Sweet Baby Jesus), the laundry, my camera, baking four batches of bread in one evening-all in the effort to avert my eyes from the ever encroaching first hour of School. I feel like I'm standing on the high dive looking down at a placid sea and everything's fine, except that I'm afraid of heights (in this case my children and their education) and so jumping off the board is going to be unpleasant. I know I have to do it. I know its probably going to be better than I expect in many ways and possibly worse and that we'll be fine. But none of that knowledge has any bearing on the state of my nerves. I remember a long lost high school boyfriend insisting to me that if I just Understood what he was trying to say, I would Feel better about it. I told him 'Malarchy' at the time, and I stick by it.
I think perhaps, the root of my discontentious anxiety is the fact that my oldest child is beginning to be rational. This has never happened to me before. The cozy cacoon of me and my husband and a lot of little children who are lovingly put to bed before quiet dinner time is shattered by one (and now two really) insisting on staying up to eat it with us, and Talk and Relate. This Talking and Relating has interfered itself in my preparations for school, offering unasked-for advice about how the school room should be arranged, whether we should have desks or a table, whether we should have a chalk board or a white board (the fact that we are having a board at all, in fact; we Are having one, even though I had not at all planned on it), at what hour we will color and do paste and when lunch will be served.
And, to my chagrin, this little person has inserted herself into my kitchen. Her job, every morning, is to unload and reload the dishwasher while her brother clears the table, wipes it down, and then cleans up the bathroom.
'I'll do it like this, Mom' (note the tone of the word 'Mom'). 'I'll put all these dishes here and then I'll call you and you'll come and tell me its fine and then I'll mop the floor and feed the birds.'
'Are you trying to be Cinderella?' I asked, 'Because you're not.'
'I know,' she said, 'but I'm still going to do all the work in the whole house.'
At which point I realized that I am now sharing My Kitchen with another female, and that I'm going to have to go on sharing this kitchen until she meets some poor unsuspecting guy and goes off to organize her own kitchen.
'If you don't do it exactly the way I tell you,' I said, 'and disobey me on Purpose, then you will have to do your own work and your brother's work tomorrow.'
'Oh' she said with her nose turned up, 'Alright.'
'Its my kitchen,' I said.
So, we will take the plunge, maybe tomorrow just to get our feet wet (skipping the high dive, as it were), but for sure on Wednesday-all the way, no holding back. Ack.