Guest blogger Dani Klein Modisett: "Fancy Hat Day." "Crazy Shoe Day." "Whacky Hair Day." These are just a few of the events listed on the annual calendar at my son's school. Isn't sitting and doing homework every day enough of a show of my love for my kindergartner? Do I also have to remember to spray paint his Keds or, worse, his hair?
Nurturing "school spirit" makes me want to do shots of tequila and show up at his school with my own special brand of "crazy Mommy."
"Mom! All the other kids have a shirt with the school name on it," my five-year-old screamed at me as we stood waiting for the bus. "Today is Friday," he continued, "and Friday is the day when you're supposed to wear your school shirt and if enough kids do it then the whole class gets a root beer float!"
Reallllly, I think, 'cause I'll buy you a root beer float right now and spare myself all the aggravation of remembering what day you have to wear which f*&king shirt. Of course I don't say that. I mean, I don't want to bum my son out, but I've got a baby at home and I work and I'm feeling maxed out planning five lunches a week and somewhat healthy snacks and making sure he learns how to read and spell this year.
One morning a week there is a school assembly where they welcome parents on campus to participate in the weekly wrap-up. The irony is that every time I visit his school, I feel unbelievably grateful and happy that my son is a student there. The seams of my unadorned shirts are bursting open with school spirit. The real kind of spirit that doesn't come from making children wear special clothes, shoes or hats to win prizes.
But maybe I'm just an old, tired, cynical Mommy. Maybe what I really need is multicolored wig, some floppy shoes, and a root beer float.