I was informed over the summer that I do not know what junior high school boy’s fashion looks like. This might surprise you, but I am going to take that as a compliment. For many reasons.
I also learned this summer that I love sleep. Okay. This is not new. But gosh, I am going to miss late summer mornings. On the first day of school, I sobbed all of the way home after dropping you off and then crawled into bed and took a nap with your daddy. Just so you know this has continued for the last two days. It is my new favorite thing. A nap after waking. Although is that a nap? Or was my brief awake time merely a walking snooze?
Let us recount the first day of school for those of us not in our household:
I had thought the morning was going well. One child was out the door. I only had one to go. I thought it was the easy one. My daughter had needed me to flat iron her hair, help with her make-up and scrutinize her clothing skin exposure earlier in the morning. Okay, the last one was unwanted. But I cannot help it. I am a mom.
So, I thought I could cruise through the remainder of the morning with my son. All he had to do was put on a t-shirt and pants. Easy.
Well, the kid has been living in his pajamas and swim trunks for the last week. He went to put on his new first day of school shorts.
They would not button.
Not only would they not button. The button-hole and the button were so far apart it was The Grand Canyon Of Skin between them. What to do?
He unexpectedly had had a huge growth spurt and all of his pants suddenly did not fit. It was ten minutes before we had to leave.
Well, no big deal, I thought. I always purchase the next size up in pants on huge discounts when I see them. I pulled out a larger size replica of the shorts he had outgrown. They had been $6 at The Gap last year and still had the tags attached to them. They also surprisingly sported a large crusty yellow stain across the lower thigh when I went to take the tags off. This probably explains the low price and definitely explains the scream you heard from my house on Wednesday morning. There was no time to wash them. I hastily, and with great stress, found another pair in a drawer.
Note to self: next year have all of the first day of school outfits inspected and tried on before you have ten minutes to get to the school.
So, let us skip the remainder of the day (Nap. Eat. Nap. Worry) and get to the part where my children recounted their day to me over dinner:
Me to my son: “What was the best part of your day today?”
My son: “I really like my computer teacher.”
Me: “What do you like best about him?”
My son: “I love the chairs in his classroom.”
My son: “The chairs in his classroom. They swivel.”
Me: “The thing you like best about your teacher is his swivel chairs?”
My son: “Well, yea, and he has a cool classroom.”
And by cool classroom, he means a room filled with computers and swivel chairs. He lucked into his perfect elective. And hopefully not a swivel-chair-concussion.
I turned to my daughter and asked her the same question I had just asked my son, “What was the best part of your day today?”
My daughter: “Definitely the professional hugger at the pep rally.”
Me: “What the heck is a professional hugger?”
My daughter: “I don’t know but he made me cry.”
Me: “Because he hugged you?”
My daughter: “No, ugh, Mom! Because he gave the best speech.”
Me: “Did he hug anybody?”
My daughter: “No. Mom! There were hundreds of people there.”
Me: “Well, I would expect nothing less from a professional hugger. Hmmmm. I want to be hugged by a professional hugger. Maybe I am a professional hugger, only I don’t even know it because I can’t hug myself. Hug me. Let me know how I measure up.”
My daughter: “Mom! He didn’t hug me!”
Me: “Yes, I know. But as a professional hugger he must have looked very huggable so I bet you could imagine how he hugs. So just compare that to this.”
My daughter running away: “Mom!…”
That about sums it up. Swivel chairs and professional huggers. The first day of school is always full of surprises. I had started to cry that morning and my son had stopped me and said, “Mom. Don’t be that mom.”
He doesn’t know that I am always that mom.
This is a tough transitional year for me. I no longer have children in elementary school. And I never will again. No hallways decorated with sunshine faces. No noodle plates. Or Mother’s Day Teas. I have had to splinter my heart with a leftover noodle when a hole burst open from the dried-out Elmer’s glue that had been holding it together.
To my children:
Last year was an amazing school year.
You daughter, found your footing in high school and I trust in your growing maturity to continue to thrive. I am amazed at your generous spirit. Your ability to speak to anyone without fear. You surpassed me with your efficient order many years ago. Of papers. Plans. Life. You never judge and are always fair. I strive for your morals. I worry that you take on too much. An imperfectionist raising a perfectionist is my greatest challenge on my journey as your mother. You are inspiring.
You son, ended your early-childhood schooling with amazing grades and a vocabulary that I envy. You started a brand new school this year. With deodorant. Growth spurts. And a wise acceptance of change. I worry about your organizational skills that you unfortunately earned from your parents. But I have faith that you will do what you always do and breeze through your education as you gather every leaf on the tree of knowledge without ever seeming to need the wind to help you soar.
Good luck, my children. I am proud of you. Work hard. And may the Air of Wisdom be always a presence at your back and an easy whisper in your ear.
Mommy (sorry. Forgot. It is probably just Mom now)