enjoy the silence
Dear Sweet Child O' Mine,
Remember that time I wrote about how much I love you, and the fact you are starting sixth grade today made me all weepy? How I wasn't ready to relinquish what has been a pretty cool summer, nor give you up to take another step toward adulthood?
Yeah, well, listen. I still love you, and I'm still emotional about you starting middle school today. You seemed really confidant in the wake of my stress Monday night while we attempted many (MANY!) unsuccessful spins of your padlock before finally (FINALLY!) getting your new locker open. Sorry you've inherited my tendency to want to bang on things and throw my fists toward heaven as though I'd been personally smote by God himself. That part doesn't make me proud, and that's something I'll help you work past. Seriously, I'm sorry. But then, when you were successful, and we then ventured off to meet the many new teachers you'll have this school year, I watched as you thrust out your arm to shake the hands they offered you, confidently telling them your name. I love when you say it proudly, because honey, your name? Your name is the sort that superheroes, international spies, and world leaders WISH they had. It's cool.
You are, too.
So we're cool on the fact that I love you and am immensely proud of you, right?
Good. Because today, when I came downstairs to find you, my brand new 11 year old boy, hunched over the brand new Lego set you got for your birthday last night (sidebar - WTF, Legos?! Forty dollars and up for some tiny plastic pieces you shove in a hundred bags and then tuck into an even bigger cardboard box? Way to love the Earth, and way to make me crazy with yet more Legos in my house) I was gobsmacked again. Then I looked at the clock and saw it was 7:13 a.m. I added seventeen minutes to that time to get you to when you would have to be leaving for school, then saw you weren't yet dressed, hadn't brushed your teeth or put your shoes on, and that the gel you wanted your dad to put in your newly sheared hair was still in the tub it comes in and not your hair, I got a little freaked.
So I said something. And you said something back. Kinda mouthy like. And I was all, "Umm...What the hell?!" Yeah, team! Great way to kick off the new school year! Also honey, way to assert your authority. I realize I didn't say that when I was all "Oh, I beg you're pardon?! What did you say to me?!" when you growled your disdain for me, then capped that with something that didn't sound like "I love you, too, Mom, " when I reminded you that you were 11 now, not a moody 16 year old. I mean, give me a break. I'm barely wrapping my mind around how my baby went from birth to 11 in, like, an hour, and you're already making me dread the petulant teen years. In that moment, I was praising the powers that be that today is the first day of school, and wondering if it would look crazy to raise a glass of the finest, cheapest wine I could stock myself with at 8 a.m. Would the bus driver who picked up your younger brother for his inaugural day of first grade be compelled to call CPS if he suspected I was drunk when I slobbered over him ('Him' being your brother, not the bus driver. Despite my propensity to love on every boy I meet when I've been drinking, the bus driver was my seventh grade math teacher, and, nice as he is, he made me cry because, yeah, it was math, and, well, even I have a line I can't cross) when I waved goodbye to your brother (who was up, dressed, brushed, and coiffed as soon as his eyes opened, I might add) 20 minutes later?
Seriously, I can get that looped on the drink THAT FAST. I am a cheap date, but this isn't the place to share that information with you, my charming son.
But, back to task...
Ten minutes later, when you'd brushed your teeth, spiked your hair, and threw on clothes that forced me to bite my tongue so as not to ask "Is that really what you're planning to wear?", (um, Mom? Get out of my head), you genuinely smiled for me when I drug you outside for the requisite first day of school photo shoot, and though you shooed away from a hug when I attempted to grab one when you were ready to head to the corner to meet Perpetual Phone Call Girl (DUDE?! You're JUST 11, and yet you are a stone cold pimp!), you did smile at me, and thankfully (you have no idea how thankful I am about this), you turned around several times to wave to me before you rounded the way and were out of my sight. So, though our encounter this morning may have made me say, perhaps a bit too loudly, that I was SO GLAD YOU WERE GOING TO SCHOOL TODAY BECAUSE I CAN'T BE RESPONSIBLE FOR MY ACTIONS IF YOU WEREN'T, and maybe a few things about how I was going to sit in a state of quiet bliss when you were gone (in my head, what I did end up saying actually sounded like that last part, but, yeah, I'm sorry that it didn't come out that way), I will miss you today. I am proud of you on such a grand level I can't even put it into words you or I could understand.
And I do love you. You couldn't hear me say that as you were rounding the corner with your little girlfriend (and right now, I love you more than she does and don't let her try and convince you otherwise!), but I will keep saying it, even if you growl at me the way you did when I came downstairs and found you playing with Legos.
P.S. I know you've never actually read those things I wrote about you because you don't know about this blog. I hope that remains the case after your Communications class this year. However, trust that I'll keep telling you so you'll never forget.