Every time a school vacation is over and parents post about how happy they are that kids are returning to school, I'm torn. Torn because I'm also HAPPY - but for a very different reason! I'm happy because all the places we go to will be tons less crowded again! Yay! Parks, museums, play spaces or every variety - empty, empty, empty, short of whatever homeschool group we visit them with. It's a beautiful thing, really. And I always feel a little guilty about that, because I'm not a fan of schools in general. So being happy most kids are back in them feels a bit twisted. Makes sense, right?
And then I start to overthink it: I remember I used to hate sending the little guy off to school. I missed him and felt like I was wasting his short time on this planet by sending him to sit in a classroom for eight hours every day. And then I begin to wonder . . . are the parents celebrating feeling similarly and they just don't say it? Because they can't change it, so why bother? And THAT makes me feel even worse.
But then I can't say I've EVER seen a parent (other than one on the verge of homeschooling) post about how much they'll miss their child when s/he is back in school. If we're being honest here - why is that? Why aren't they missing their little bundles of fantasticness when they're away from them all day? Or maybe they're just not saying as much? Though why be so quick to say "good riddance, my little demons!" but never "Mommy will miss you while you're in school!"
So I'm seriously wondering - and NOT asking these parents, because there's no way this doesn't come across judgmental: Are they really happy their kids are away from them all day? Or maybe they wish they could keep them home, but can't - and their celebration is more of the "what's expected" variety, expressing a sort of "I need to get back to work and this is my half joking way to make it all feel normal" sentiment? Back to the typical, every day grind where kids go off to school, parents go to a job somewhere and they all connect around dinner time.
Or are they really happy their kids are away from them all day? And . . . brace yourself, because this is a terrible question to ask, but I really wonder: do they not LIKE their kids? I mean, it's possible, right? Particularly if they're teens! I've only recently begun to like teens myself (they used to terrify me and I avoided them, but now I know more than a few and they're shockingly insightful and respectful!) - so I can get not liking older kids possibly? Maybe? Okay, I can't. I know we all joke that kids are horrible, but I personally prefer their company to most adults. Kids are more honest, kind and possess a natural curiosity about the world that I find inspiring - for the most part. When they're not being AWFUL, that is. ;)
But I CAN get wanting some distance from them, so that's probably closer to the heart of this. And maybe it's entirely different for me because I only have one child. And there's something to be said for wanting some adult time, of course. It just seems like the school day is such a long time away though, in any scenario. Maybe homeschool parents share an overarching personality trait where they like kids more than adults? I may have written out loud and answered by own question here! ("Writing out loud" is like "thinking out loud" but via writing, fyi ;) I've answered it for myself at least, I'm sure there are other answers out there as well.
But I guess I'll never know for sure, because as I said, I'll never ask these parents any of these questions. Nothing good would come of it. They'd feel defensive, I'd imagine. I know I would, roles reversed. So I'm just writing this post here to commiserate with other homeschool parents who likley feel the same and are equally unable to have this kind of conversation. Is that you?
And if you're a traditional school parent who happens upon this post and is now all shades of angry at me, I'm sorry. And yes, I know that homeschooling is weird and I'm weird and my child is too and blah blah nonsense - write your OWN blog about it, hmm? That's a different topic for a different day regardless - this post is solely about back to school celebrations - but thanks for visiting!