School Bathrooms

School started. I’m now officially the mother of a first grader and there’s one thing that sends me into a panic. Bathrooms.

Up until this point, Joseph has always had a bathroom in his classroom. If he needed to use it, he had merely to raise his hand and ask to walk the fifty feet or so to the back of the room. Now, however, he’s a “big kid” and big kids use the bathrooms along the walkway.

Before I go further, maybe I should explain that while I currently live in California, I grew up in Washington – a place with enclosed schools. For those of you not living in Sunny Cali, the schools here, for the most part, are open. And by “open”, I mean exterior walkways.

The first time I walked on a campus, this threw me. I was accustomed to walking into a building and down hallways lined with classroom doors. The halls were monitored by an aide, a teacher with an off period, or any number of school librarians, clerical staff, or the principal.

Joseph, however, leaves his classroom and steps onto a walkway, crossed the grass and there’s the bathroom. This is the same little boy who is not allowed to use the men’s room alone at the Olive Garden.

It kind of freaks me out.

And I’m not sure why.

Perhaps it’s because it seems so public. Or maybe it’s because if he yelled for help, there’s a good chance no one would hear him.

My California native friends tell me not to worry.

Would you?