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12 Ways to Turn Your Pain into Praise

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Better Than Jewels

The perfect story for the week that school starts. Whether it’s kindergarten or college, when our kids grow up, it gives us cause for pause.

The First Day of School For the Baby

What Dina Said:

“Mike, I don’t know what you’re scared of.  Mother’s going to be right here when you come home.  My goodness, you’ve got a nice little yellow bus to ride and your own lunch box and your name pinned on your sweater.  Now what could go wrong?

You’re a big boy, now,  and you have to like one.  You’re going to make all kinds of new friends. You march right out there and sit on the curb and stop acting like a baby. You don’t have a thing to be frightened of.”

What Mike Didn’t Say:

I don’t know anything.

I have new underwear, a new sweater, a loose tooth, and I didn’t sleep last night. I’m worried.

What if the bus jerks after I get on and I lose my balance and my pants rip and everyone laughs.

What if I go to the bathroom before we get to school?  But if the bell rings and everyone goes inside and a man yells, “Where do you belong?” and I don’t know?

 What if my shoelace comes untied and someone says, “Your shoelace is untied. We’ll watch you tie it?”

What if the trays in the cafeteria are too high for me to reach, and the thermos lid on my soup is too tight and when I try to open it, it breaks?

What if my loose tooth wants to come out when we’re supposed to have our heads down and be quiet?  What if the teacher tells the class to go to the bathroom and I can’t go?

What if I get hot and take my sweater off and someone steals it question?  What if I splash water on my nametag,  and my name disappears and no one will know who I am? 

What if they send us out play and all the swings are taken? What do I do?

What if the wind blows all of the important papers that I am supposed to take home out of my hands? What if they mispronounce my last name and everyone laughs?

 What if the teacher gives a seat to everyone and I’m left over? What if the windows on the bus steam up and I won’t be able to tell when I get to my stop?

What if I spend the whole day without a friend?

I’m afraid.

What Mike Said:

            “See ya.”

What Dina Didn’t Say:

            What am I doing, sending this baby out into the world before the umbilical cord is healed?  Where’s all the relief and exhilaration I’m supposed to feel?  If only I hadn’t been so rotten to him all summer.  “Go play! Get out of the house! Take a nap!”

             I think I blew it. I talked too much and said to little. There are no second chances for me.  It’s all up to someone else now.

             Now it’s my turn. My excuse for everything just got on that bus. My excuse for not dieting, not getting a full-time job, not cleaning house, not re-upholstering the furniture, not going back to school, not having order in my life, not cleaning the oven.

             It’s the end of an era. Now what do I do for the next 20 years of my life?

             These walls have been so safe for the last few years; I didn’t have to prove anything to anyone. Now I feel vulnerable.

             What if I apply for a job and no one wants me?

             What if I’m kidding myself about writing the book that I told everyone was inside me?

             What if I can’t let go of my past? It’s 8:15 in the morning.

I’m afraid.

 This story was written three decades ago by one of my favorite authors, Erma Bombeck. It still captures the bittersweet angst of motherhood.

I posted a story on our Answers From Mom and Dad Fbook page about how to survive your Empty Nest. Check it out. You may not need it now, but you will.


August 14, 2016 @09:15 pm

I remember it like it was yesterday and I have great grand kids now!


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