Thursday, January 20, 2011

Parents of the Year

I reluctantly pulled myself out of bed Tuesday morning to go back to school. I love teaching, but not everything that goes with it. I went, performed, enjoyed it for the most part, and then the final bell rang.

Tuesday is dance day for Eden. Bell rings at 3:10. Dance starts at 3:45. Let the race begin.

It's really not that big of a deal most weeks. One day of having to rush out of school, get home to change, and drop off is nothing to complain about. But this week we also had to attend a school board meeting because of this:


Definitely nothing to complain about there.

All the students of the year of each school in the parish were being recognized, and we had to be there at 6:00.

Dance ends at 5:00. No problem, right?

Problem 1: Eden was in a TERRIBLE, WHINY mood. Tried to refuse to go to dance, but that is not an option.

Sooo, we call grandparents at the last minute to see if they can watch the girls while we attend the meeting and give up on the warm moment of familial pride we had originally intended.

Problem 2: A WalMart trip was necessary before going back to school the next day to buy supplies for the reward store I try to  run.

Sooo, Jim agreed to go with me while Eden is at dance so that we had time to squeeze it in and I didn't have to go late at night.

Problem 3: We promised to sign Bobby and Jules up for soccer on this day over a week ago.

Sooo, we did this at warp speed

Drop off Eden, run out to the rec to register for soccer and go shop for school. Done. 

We are productive. 
We are in control.

Pick up Penny Lane.

Jim drops us all off at home to start changing and is off to pick up Eden right on time.

Then I went to the dryer. To get the shirt I had laundered for this very event. And what happened next put me over the edge...


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Nothing had escaped it.

I was having visions of bologna sandwiches for the next month in order to finance Bobby's new wardrobe. All of his uniforms were in that load. As well as two of his nicer long sleeved shirts, including the one I had planned for him to wear that night. And they all had blue crayon melted all over them.

Bobby stepped into the laundry room and quickly receded. 

"You know I don't use crayons."

"I know. It doesn't matter how,  just that it IS."

And wouldn't you know that this would be the moment to discover Bobby had outgrown every other long sleeved button-up shirt in his closet?

Jim walked in and told me to do the only thing left to do: go buy another shirt right now. So I did. At 5:25 I left to go shop. Made it back by a quarter 'til. Dropped off girls.

Walked into the meeting at 3 minutes 'til 6.

Bobby took his reserved seat; Jim and I had to stand in the back.

And then I became aware...

that I seemed to be the only woman in the room working on 12 hour old make up and no lipstick at all

that my heels were killing me

that we had no plans for supper and really shouldn't eat out...again

that Bobby really needs a haircut

that I had not remembered a camera

and that my phone was almost dead.

I was slipping one shoe at a time off for brief periods to get some relief hoping none of my many bosses in the room would notice and Jim kept lifiting his leg slightly and bending it a little in response to his new bum knee...


I looked around at the other proud parents there to see their own children. They had obviously "gotten ready" for this event. They were smiling and whispering to one another, dressed nicely, beaming, holding their cameras...we were exhausted, unprepared, and looked like we had just survived a natural disaster...

I looked at Jim and we just laughed...

I don't feel the need to live up to others' expectations, and I haven't met a person yet with whom I'd trade lives...mine is much cooler, anyway...

But I did, just this once, decide that no matter what, when Bobby's name was called, I would step forward and take his picture even if it was "pretend." Forgotten camera and dead phone be damned, people would know when his name was called that he was mine and that I had intentions of chronicaling that moment for all time...like any good mother, right?

Right.

Don't judge me.






P.S. My phone stayed on long enough to take three very blurry pictures from far far away. I think I may need to print and frame them...

P.P.S. Soak and wash on warm/hot with vinegar and dishwashing liquid. Crisis averted.

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