I sing-songed like Snow White as I whisked open his curtains. I raved about the smell of cinnamon pancakes filling the house as I jumped on his bed. I hit him with a pillow as I encouraged him to seize the day.
“Oh my GOD, Mom,” my son hissed. “Really? STOP, Mom,” he ordered. “Just…STOP…”
He is only 11. Granted, the jumping and pillow throwing was pushing it, but I thought this sort of vehement disgust for his mother wouldn’t kick in until—what, 13?
At school, my lips just missed his freshly washed hair as I attempted to kiss him goodbye. I waved madly as he fled into territory parents are not allowed to tread without security clearance. He traversed the quad hunched, embarrassed, telegraphing to his peers that he didn’t know the lady shouting, “HAVE A FANTASTIC DAY!”, at the gate.
I returned home and sipped my coffee. “Oh my GOD, where does he get it from?” I muttered, automatically blaming my husband, promptly phoning my husband and apologizing for blaming him.
“We had such a nice time together during the strike,” I complained bitterly. “Marching with the teachers, bribing him with hot chocolate in the afternoons so he’d play chess with me–he even let me build Lego things with him!”
“It’s starting,” my husband said ominously. “Prepare yourself, babe.”
But when I retrieved my son from school six hours later?
“MOM! HI! EVERYONE SAYS I’M TALLER! WE PLAYED PIRANHA TAG! HEY MOM, I WENT OVER MY MATH WITH MRS. V! SHE WAS PROUD OF ME FOR ASKING QUESTIONS! GUESS WHAT? CODE CLUB WAS FUN! YOU BROUGHT ME A SMOOTHIE? OH MY GOD, MOM–THANKS! I’LL PUT ON SPA RADIO FOR YOU! NO, IT’S OKAY—IT’S OKAY! YOU NEED YOUR SPA, MOM. GUESS WHAT? ONLY ONE PAGE OF MATH FOR HOMEWORK TONIGHT! WOO HOO, WHAT A GREAT DAY!
And just like that I had my sweet, funny 11-year-old again. The prep I did while he was in school—the Googling of pre-teen behavior and how parents should cope and guide their children during that difficult time—I shelved all information for the future (possibly as soon as the next morning).
A great day indeed!
I’m so thankful for teachers and definitely all of the teachers at my son’s school. I was happy we could support them during the strike. We’d do it again! But hooray for school, man, hooray for school being up and running again. Like the government.
Yours in a very relieved manner,
Dammit, now I’m all choked up. It’s so cool to be able to have a beer with my boy and talk about “adult” (art of) topics, but some days I really miss this stuff.
Everyone told me, even as I held him in my arms as a newborn, that time goes too fast with kids. Way too true! Too fast. Never has ‘live the moment’ hit home as with raising this guy.