Mom to the Rescue!
My life has changed drastically over the past three weeks. I no longer get to linger in bed or stay up late. My time has been slotted into specific segments of come and go. My precious time alone is counted by the minute and my money is all gone. Many afternoons are spent on metal bleachers, my Saturdays are spent gathering required outfits and supplies, and my evenings are spent encouraging others to get their work done now – not later – so we can get to the next event. School has begun.
Isn’t it funny how many things can make changes in our lives but nothing so completely restructures it as the return to school? As adults, we like to think that we set our own timetables and make our own decisions about where and when to spend our time. We like to imagine that we even have a say in what we wear and what we say. Yet, when raising children, we inadvertently make many changes to please them.
“Oh, Moooothhher, you are not going to wear that are you? NO other mothers wear tenny shoes with their skirts. No, no mom, they absolutely do NOT.”
“Mooooommmm, could you please not whistle at the ball games. Everyone can hear you.”
“Uuuhhhh, mom, when you text could you please not write in complete sentences. It takes too long to read and it is weird that you put a period at the end of every text. Not cool, mom.”
“Please, please, please don’t talk to the principal when we walk by. Please.”
“You ARE coming to the meetings, the practices, the scrimmages, and the games aren’t you? Good. Please don’t sit right in front.”
“Mom, YOU forgot the ice cream money again.”
“Moootttthheeer, I saw you talking all during my game, please tell me that you knew that person you were talking to.”
“Not here mom. Others will see you.” And she sweeps right past me.
And so on and so forth. I have purchased, and worn, T-shirts I don’t want, worked in concession stands, kept score books, provided snacks, ridden the Yellow Dog, and otherwise chaperoned in order for my kids to be involved. I have driven to several different malls just to get the correct color of socks, the right brand of mouth guard, the same kind of undershirt that all the others are wearing (and that no one can see!), the exact shoestrings that match the rest of the team, and taken it all back because it was not exactly correct. There are days I want to wring their little necks but dutifully I return the offensive item because it costs so much it is worth the extra trip and because they will not stop until I find the very exact one they want – because simply EVERYONE at school ALREADY has the correct one! DUH!
School can be brutal. So much pressure to be identical and unique all at the same time. Even for the very youngest. On the first day of football, jerseys were handed out randomly. My son got a jersey with a big, black 5 on it. He loved it because it was a real football jersey. Another boy with an 8 on his jersey trotted over and said, “My number is higher than yours.” My little guy looked stunned. They had them on for less than three minutes. I bristled and said, “So, what does that mean?” He looked confused and ran off. I am thinking, “Mom to the rescue!” when my son whispers to me, “Mom, what does it mean?” I reassured him that the numbers were just numbers until they figured out which position he was going to play. He did not care. He ran over to number 8 and they started bashing each other on the shoulder pads. UUUGGGHHH, so much for mom to the rescue!
And then on Monday, the youngest gets off the bus and drags over to me. “Mom, I don’t feel so good. I couldn’t eat my lunch because it wouldn’t go past my throat.” He snuggles into me and wants to hold my hand. Strep rears its ugly head and my demanding linebacker becomes my little boy again. I hold him for a few minutes and then we head off to see the doctor. We pick up the teen on the way, make sure the pre-teen has a ride home after football, and text dad the new schedule.
Ah, yes, school is in session.
And I need to be. In session, that is.
Wonder if my psychiatrist can see me next week, or the next?