You have just given birth to this beautiful baby girl.
You are lying in your hospital bed, tired, sweaty and looking over to where the doctors are preparing to show you your sweet miracle. They place this new person that you just created swaddled and sleeping on your chest with a big smile...and then they hand you the "Parenting Handbook." You know the one. The big red spiral bound handbook as thick as an old CIA manual with the dog eared chapters titled "This Too Shall Pass," "Stain Removal Secrets," "Pick Your Battles," and "Life's Big Moments and How to Prepare for Them Like a Pro" that other parents receive when they leave the hospital.
WAIT!! I didn't get one of those! Someone forgot to give me my handbook! I am unprepared for Kindergarten and I need my handbook! I am not prepared for what to do when this person you created is walking away from you through the doors of a school and she does not look back! I am unprepared for having all the feelings!
I need the page number for the contact information and address to the "Moms with Kindergarteners" meeting. I need help finding the building where I walk in, probably dazed after dropping her off in the carpool line where I have been instructed NOT TO GET OUT OF MY CAR, and they hand me a cup of decaf coffee, a stale donut and administer a hug. They tell me not to worry because she will be home in a couple of hours. I will scrap an old metal chair up to the support circle with other moms with red swollen eyes from crying and confusion about how elated they feel to have some free time and how sad they feel that their baby has left the safety of their arms. I need to know the location of the meeting where I will be advised to put down my phone and actually FEEL the panic I have from realizing my daughter will have life experiences that I am no longer a part of. I need the group leader/therapist/mama bear to remind me that this is only the first step to my daughter's independence and that I must be strong. I need someone to hold my hand and talk slowly when the other women start mentioning phrases like "wait until first grade," "drivers license," "the TALK," "first date," "prom," and "the wedding." I need my meeting! I need my hug!
WHERE THE HELL IS MY HANDBOOK PEOPLE?! I am unprepared for all the work that goes into sending a child off to war, I mean Kindergarten. I don't have the paper bag labeled with her name that contains all the paper products and school supplies she needs! I have not labeled the tags on her school uniforms with her last name in Sharpie so they don't get lost with all of the other exactly the same uniforms! What page in the handbook mentions where to buy these specific shorts for under her uniform jumper so she is not showing London and France and her underpants on the playground?!
(curled up in the fetal position on the floor in my office, whispering...) Please someone FedEx me my handbook and send reinforcements. Preferably send my husband because he knows the red wine I like and how to tell me I look pretty and rub my back and remind me that I am not alone. I know him. He will sit next to me and pull out the Cliff Notes version of the "Parenting Handbook" that he secretly purchased from the hospital gift shop five years ago. He will stroke my head as he opens it and read the only two sentences in the book... "This is a fly by the seat of your pants operation. And don't worry...you've got this!"
Send my husband, some wine and my handbook people. Please. I'm begging.