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  • Jan. 2013
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Nothing to Worry About
(Erma Bombeck)
Confessions of a child entering school for the first time - who according to adults "has nothing to worry about." My name is Donald and I don't know anything.
I have new underwear, a new sweater, a loose tooth and I didn't sleep last night. I am worried. What if the school bus jerks after I get on and I lose my balance and my pants rip and everyone laughs? What if I have to go to the bathroom before we get to school? What if a bell rings and everyone goes into a door and a man yells, "Where do you belong?" and I don't know? What if my shoestring comes untied and someone says, "Your shoestring is untied. We'll all watch while you tie it"? What if the trays in the cafeteria are too tall for me to reach? What if the thermos lid on my soup is on too tight and when I try to open it, it breaks? What if my loose tooth wants to come out when we're supposed to have our heads down and be quiet? What if the teacher tells the class to go to the bathroom and I can't go? What if I get hot and want to take my sweater off and someone steals it? What if I splash water on my name tag and my name disappears and no one will know who I am? What if they send us out to play and all the swings are taken? What do I do? What if the wind blows all the important papers out of my hands that I'm supposed to take home? What if they mispronounce my last name and everyone laughs?

What if my teacher doesn't make her D's like Mom taught me?
What if I spend the whole day without a friend?
What if the teacher gives a seat to everyone and I'm left over? What if the windows in the bus steam over and I won't be able to tell when I get to my stop? I'm just a little kid but maybe I'm smarter than I think I am. At least I know better than to tell a five-year-old with a loose tooth who has never been out of the yard by himself before that he has "nothing to worry about."

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