The first day of school photos have circulated on Facebook. Now the leaves will begin to fall. Soon, memes bemoaning the drop off lines will fill feeds throughout the Internet. And a new school year will have officially begun.
But not for us.
For home-schoolers this time of year is glorious. The streets are empty. The drama moves to the periphery. The sun is less oppressive on our sheltered home-skin.
We emerge into an otherwise distracted world. Pupils dilating, focusing on short lines and sudden discounts. Green lights and open trails for as far as the eye can see.
All summer long, in our gender neutral bathrooms, we plot our return. In our safe spaces, in our free speech zones, we anticipate this secession with elation.
It’s our reward for chewing through the connective tissue binding us to the general population. The spoils of our victory in the War on Normal. We step forth unbound, free of norms, vibrating at our own unique wavelengths. Attuned to subversive frequencies we are those slivers of the population that vote Libertarian, Green Party, even Anarchist.
We are fringe.
It occurred to me, as I sat sipping my home-coffee, that you–you who live the approved lifestyle–might like to know what we do with all of our stolen time. The official line is that we are teaching our kids. And yes, we go to museums and out for hikes, and we might crack a book or two. But more important, we go everywhere you’re not. We fill the spaces in the wake of your mass retreat, enjoying the oxygen you leave behind. That sweet, freedom-flavored O2.
We plan unthinkable vacations that begin on Mondays and end on Fridays.
We bide our time until you hold your PTA meetings. Then we go through your stuff. We break into your homes with our DIY lock picks and drink the milk in your fridge right from the carton. We put everything back just the way we found it. But we leave knowing your hidden kinks.
We flip your toilet paper so it doesn’t roll the way you prefer. And we leave the toilet seat up, ending countless marriages.
When you volunteer at your schools, forced to appease some pea-brained Napoleon so your child will get favorable treatment, we change your wifi passwords.
Oh yes, we are a fantastically horrible group! Except to kindred spirits. We write letters of sympathy to left-handed people. Our hearts break for them. [NOTE: If you’re left handed, just put a sticker on your front door that reads “A Lefty Lives Here!” and we’ll leave your stuff alone.]
We’re working on ways to home-govern.
We script reality shows.
We keep calling the pharmacy to ask questions of the pharmacist on staff so it takes longer to get your prescriptions filled. They love it when you ask about monkey pox. You might be wondering “Wait, wouldn’t you be causing long wait times for home-schoolers, too?” No. We make our own home-medicine. For use in our home-clinics.
We hold elaborate rituals where we light candles representing peace, independence, and mojitos. Then we drink the mojitos and buy Groupons you couldn’t possibly redeem.
We never argue with each other.
We throw Norwex parties.
We turn the Slayer all the way up.
We teach ourselves how to teach ourselves.
Sometimes we feel like watching The Big Lebowski over and over again. And so we do. Nothing stops us.
We have faster Internet connection speeds.
We wear yoga pants even if we don’t yoga. I’m aware that’s not subversive or counter-cultural in the least.
With all the choices available to us, sometimes we choose not to choose knowing full well that it’s still a choice we get to make.
We edit your textbooks, rewriting history to cover up the fact that we have always been here. We were there in the British colonies in the 1600’s. When the crops failed and the cows gave sour milk, ’twasn’t witches. ‘Twas us. Sorry witches.
Rasputin was a home-schooler. We are the wizards behind the man behind the curtain behind the Wizard.
We HATE teacher strikes.
We are the world’s last uncontacted tribe. We are the uncommon core to your common core.
We are all around you. In our homes. And out of our homes. And in your homes. You can’t tell who we are by looking at us. Not even with those special glasses that Rowdy Roddy Piper wore in They Live!
He was here to kick ass and chew bubblegum. And he was always out of bubblegum. And now he’s dead.
Probably some of this was news to you. You might not have known about the mojitos. If you come away from this knowing anything, just know that home-schoolers love mojitos. But who doesn’t?
I thought it was only fair, since we know so much about you, to share some about us. You can trust that I’ve held back the biggest secrets–like the home-rockets that take us to our home-planet where we all attend public school.
Please continue to post your first day of school photos so we know when it’s safe to come out. Please tell us about the new principal and his ass-backward policies. Please feed our sense of purpose. Be the yin to our yang. And we promise to never say another word about your furry fetish.