Ground Control To Major Mom

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Ground Control To Major Mom

Awakening to the red LED display of 4:30am, I jumped from my fitful slumber, excited by the mission of this day. For weeks, nay months, I have endured countless tests of both my physical and mental strength and prowess, that I may be adequately prepared for today’s launch. I dress in my flight suit, proceed to the Nutrition Area and consume a Power Bar and Tang. Before long, I am doing a final check of the three main thruster components and strapping myself into my shuttle craft. The countdown begins, the shuttle bay doors open . . . Ignition . . . BLAST OFF! Hurtling through space, it seems to take no time before I am saying these words, "Houston, we have jettisoned the three main fuel tanks and are now entering Child-free orbit..."

OK, OK, maybe the first day of school is not as Earth shattering as a shuttle launch, but as any parent knows, dropping the kids off on that first morning is just as exhilarating. To me it is a mission I have mentally prepared for since the day they got out for summer vacation. We have endured three months of fights, fun, frivolity and frustration and they are just as happy to be back in as I am to see them back in!

My children are odd that way, I guess. Perhaps they truly love the educational process. Perhaps they yearn for the opportunity to spell better, count higher, jump further. Perhaps it is simply that they have had enough of the lunatic they are forced to live with (that would be me).

Yes, that must be it.

Surely only lunacy would drive a mother to make her children clean their rooms GASP!, help with the laundry SHRIEK!, and help clean the hamster cage AAHHH!!!!, right? And let us not forget the dishes they must load into the dishwasher. Pardon me whilst I slip from my cuckoo’s nest and say, "Mmmuuuuuuwwwaaaahhhhaaaaahhhhhaaaahhhaaaa!

OK, honestly, they do put my sanity to the test. This summer I have refereed twenty three fights over a one legged Barbie, spent approximately forty three hours applying SPF 45 to their bodies, thrown my back out twice by throwing them in the pool, catered to their diner-like demands for three different meals at the three different meals, listened to the Lizzie McGuire movie soundtrack till I wish I were in Roma (alona!), and watched (endured) enough of their fashions shows, skits and plays to now believe that Tom Greene got cheated out of an Oscar for his performance in Freddy Got Fingered.

I love them all, but after spending so many years with at least one if not two dangling from my hip around the clock, I wholeheartedly embrace the time they are all in school. Any parent, mother or father, who says otherwise is a liar. That is not to say I do not miss them from time to time during the day . . . well, actually that is exactly what I am saying. I’m kidding! I just do not stress, weep and effuse when we are parted each morning.

I like walking through WalMart alone. I like going to the bathroom without an audience. I like watching my soap opera in peace. (Yes, I watch a soap opera, but I do not eat bonbons.) I like meeting my husband for lunch and not eating at McDonald’s. And each morning I can tell they like going to school. They like telling me about their day when I pick them up. And most of all, they like that Mommy is a much calmer, saner woman for having had some quiet time each day.

So as I once again kiss them goodbye and drive away from their school, I am filled with peace, exhilaration and seven hours to float in child-free orbit. They are happily ensconced in their new classrooms, I am happily ensconced in my freedom, and "Houston, we do NOT have a problem. Over and out."

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