Yeah, that’s right, I’ve been prepping for it the entire summer. I’ve got my iPhone ready to snap the most insane pictures of my kids this year, holding a blackboard with facts scrawled in elaborate chalk calligraphy. The balloon garland is up and you bet I redesigned my portico columns to look like colossal pencils. I’ve also ripped out my entire lawn and replaced it with perfect green turf. When other neighborhood moms ask me why I have Broadway-style lighting rigs on my property, I’m going to flash them my perfect smile and say, “Obviously you don’t love your kids as much as I do.” Then I’ll capture a photo of their reaction when they see the Blue Morpho butterflies I brought in for the occasion.

I’ve got the whole thing figured out. On the day of, I will mosey on into my kids' room at the crack of dawn and yank open the shades. A burst of sunlight will hit their angelic faces, but I won’t take this photo. It’s all about the board. I will bend down and whisper into their ears, one by one: “Time to get up, sweeties.” They will emerge immediately from their slumber and don their color-coordinated first-day outfits. They will forgo their usual organic smoothie breakfast for the day because I’ve arranged instead for nutrition to be administered by IV. Can’t risk blueberry stains on Parisian organza, now can we?

After the photos on the fairy swing in front of our house, we’ll head over to the castle I rented for the apple-themed ops. Apples are the fruits of school, you know. But while other parents might simply place an apple into their kid’s hand and ask them to say cheese, my kids will be diving into a pool of thousands of apples — ball pit style. I’m going to capture them mid-air, board in hand, perfectly paused against the blue sky. We’ll do this over and over because it’s important to get it just right. We’ve been training with Olympic coaches since the day school let out, so it shouldn’t be that difficult.

Now you might be thinking, what about the classic yellow school bus shot? Of course, I’ve got it down. I’ve commissioned a decked-out Magic School Bus from the people who built the Titanic for the Hollywood movie. I’ve also location-scouted some perfect spots for this series along the Pacific Coast Highway. Why? Because it’s the best view in the United States and I’m the mother of moment capturing. We’ll ride with a team of makeup artists and Botox professionals who will cover up any signs of exhaustion in the kids. Not that they will get fed up with balancing repeatedly on the edge of a cliff. My kids are professionals.

Then we’ll finally be off to school where we will make a grand entrance by helicopter. After waving the kids goodbye like I’m the reincarnation of Lady Diana, I’ll fly out to the Bahamas —where you’ll find me on the beach watching the comments roll in as I work my way through a dozen dirty martinis. When the day is done, I’ll helicopter back to the school and drop a ladder onto the roof. The kids will climb on board that way for the ride home because it’s the first day of school and that’s how we’re going to do it.

Or maybe this year, I’ll just uncrumple a white sheet of paper and scribble their grade levels on it for a photo in front of our ordinary front door.

The jury’s out.


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