The following is a First Day Of School survival guide.
It could also be applied to the husband's first day of work after his vacation, or your own first day of vacation (during leave taking at the office).
1. LOOK SAD. This cannot be stressed enough. When they (children, husband, co-workers) see you, they must see you looking sad. If they do not see "sad", they will suspect the glee that is lurking below the surface. If they do not see "sad", they may sense the joy and elation that you are truly feeling. It is important that they think you will miss them; so, look sad.
2. CARRY A TISSUE OR HANKY. This is an essential First Day accoutrement. You must carry this, and use it like you would another appendage. When you feel the irresistible urge to laugh out loud or shriek with joy, use your tissue and turn it into a sob. Think sad thoughts. Permanent school closure comes to mind. With sad thoughts such as this, you will be able to continue #1 until everyone has left the building. (or you yourself, in the face of your impending vacation)
3. WEAR YOUR HEAVIEST SHOES. This will make jumping up and down for joy more difficult. Do not remove the shoes until you have seen the last of your people. Remove them only when you are ready to do the Dance Of Joy all through the house (or hallway on the way to your car)
4. PLAN A CROCK POT SUPPER. This is an item that needs advance planning. Do your supper preparation the night before, so that while you are supervising breakfast and the making of lunches, you will also be able to throw your supper together and plug in the crock pot. This may seem like an unnecessary step, but you will appreciate it on the day, as it will give you limitless hours to do the Dance Of Joy instead of making supper.
5. BAKE THEIR FAVOURITE COOKIES, but do it before the day and hide them in the freezer, only taking them out to thaw after they have left, but just prior to the Dance Of Joy. Arrange cookies on a plate, with glasses of milk for their after school/ work snack. You should look happy now, (remembering that there is school tomorrow may help) but they will think that you missed them and thought of them all day if it appears that you have baked them cookies.
6. HAVE BACK-UP SUPPORT READY. If this is your first First Day, or you are still new enough at it to be worried about actual sadness or depression, make sure you have an older, wiser, more tired mother (or father, as the case may be) standing by in case of emergency. If it is time for the Dance Of Joy, but you don't have the heart to remove your heavy shoes, call for back-up and do the Dance Of Joy together.
Happy First Day. May all your dances be Dances Of Joy.