We've met. You can officially say we've been introduced. The first month or two of the school year is one big meet-and-greet. I don't mean getting to know the teachers, my kids' classmates or even their parents. I'm talking about what happens after the two-week incubation period. That's when my kids have already picked up all the various bacteria and viruses that lurk in the homes of their friends and have mysteriously been transferred to every surface in their classroom. Okay, it's not that mysterious. How many six and seven year olds actually wash their hands every time they are done in the bathroom? Sneezing into their sleeves? C'mon, now. Most of them still pick their noses at least once a day.
Every year, approximately two weeks into the new school calendar, that's when it hits home. My husband and I wake up with sinuses stuffed like a Thanksgiving turkey, throats like sandpaper, and no end in sight. Until we've exhausted every possible combination and permutation of each individual virus from each of our kids' classmates' houses, we'll be popping cold medicine and running the vaporizer like prohibition's coming.
It just can't be helped. Maybe next year, we'll host a gala for the kids earlier in the year and encourage hugging and kissing. I'll remove all traces of antibacterial soap and Kleenex from the house and let everyone breathe on everybody else. Maybe we'll start two weeks before the first day of school so we can get this all over with sooner.