I can only speak for New Yorkers (and Hamptonites), but at least 15 million people collectively woke up on August 1st and declared: WTF?! 68 degrees and rainy? Seriously? This bummer-summer weather, along with our fading tan-lines, serve as all-too painful reminders that we’ve got one month left until leaves change, days get shorter, and lunchbox shopping begins.

This September, my son will attend a nursery program twice a week. Didn’t you hear? Two is the new three. Not yet potty trained, he will head off to his cubby, take the hand of his teacher, and perhaps, barely look back. As much as I consider his admission quite the coup, I can’t help but mourn his departure into an undoubtedly intoxicating world of apple juice, snacks, and storytime. But let’s be real: this is not the sole source of my “back-to-school anxiety.” Something latent, something from the days of worrying about geometry or my unrequited crush, is coming back to tap me on the shoulder. While I naturally wonder whether my child will thrive and be “well-liked” by his teachers and peers (yikes—am I really seeking the approval of three-foot tyrants, not unlike paci-wielding Napoleons?!), I also find myself questioning how I will be received by my fellow class moms. Will they appreciate my dry humor (at least that’s what I call it…)? Must I trade in my uniform of Soul Cycle sweats for drop-dead gorgeous drop-off duds? How am I supposed to wrestle my child into the stroller, walk the dog, and effectively apply mascara? What if they label me the “gross mom,” all because I let my kid eat a goldfish off the floor? Haven’t they heard of the five-second rule? Am I aloof if I choose to spin and shower rather than gab and grab coffee? Am I needy if I initiate the first playdate?

You are likely thinking this sounds completely narcissistic. It’s about him, NOT me—I know, I know. But I am not naïve. Aren’t we all trying to redo our own childhoods even just a little? Why else would we throw birthday parties at FAO Schwarz or The Plaza Hotel? Who doesn’t want to be Eloise? Why place so much emphasis on six hours a week of preschool , if not to satisfy a longing to give our children “more?” Is it so awful (or pathetic) to give ourselves a do-over in the process?

The rational part of me (which fortunately guides 98 percent of my brain) knows that like most things, school will work itself out—for both of us. Chances are, my son will be nurtured and engaged whether he is watching a resident rodent run on a wheel (ew!), or reading The Little Red Caboose. Probably, I will make some good friends, and hopefully not offend anyone with my occasional sarcasm. As long as my unrequited crush doesn’t show up as a class dad, I’m sure I will manage. I know it’s school and all, but thinking less might actually come in handy.

Want to curb first-day jitters? Calm down with a VITAL SHOT from Juice Generation (multiple locations): juicegeneration.com/ I am absolutely addicted to this cocktail of cayenne pepper, ginger, and lemon.  Jumpstart your day and metabolism with a spicy shooter, an orange wedge chaser, and you will conquer with confidence. Rock those sweats!

Mamaste, JLB.


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Jenny Ladner Brenner

Jenny Ladner Brenner

Jenny Ladner Brenner is a native New Yorker with a home on the Upper East Side. Somewhere in between tending to a toddler, caring for a cockapoo, and paying attention to an overworked husband, she managed to release her debut novel, THE DINNER PARTY, which explores the explosive cocktail of friendship and marriage among twenty-somethings living in New York City. Jenny has been featured and interviewed on various websites and blogs, and is currently refining the concept for her next “best seller.” More about Jenny and THE DINNER PARTY can be found HERE.