...for a different kind of girl

silent surburban girl releasing her voice, not yet knowing what all she wants to say about her life and the things that make it spin. do you have to be 18 to be here? you'll know when i know.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

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.

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Blogger San Diego Momma/Two Funny Brains said...

Very adorable and bittersweet.

And you're actually letting your kids go off to school?I'm thinking of shrinkwrapping mine and storing them in dry ice. I'm not ready for the whole "growing up" phase of this having kids thing.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008 9:25:00 AM  
Blogger Desmond Jones said...

Awww, DKG, you're such a Mom!

He ain't a teen yet, but - News Bulletin! - it IS Middle School. Molly used to say that, first day of 6th grade, you should lock 'em in the basement and just throw food down to 'em until they're, oh, 17 or so. . .

But - that schizoid whipsaw between adoration and loathing? Oh, yeah. . .

Wednesday, August 20, 2008 9:37:00 AM  
Blogger Unknown said...

ack, mine starts 6th grade on 9/2. she got her first "young lady" haircut yesterday, followed by registration & pictures. ugh. just the thought of it makes me ill...

Wednesday, August 20, 2008 9:54:00 AM  
Blogger Wonderful World of Weiners said...

You're a good mommy. :)


Wednesday, August 20, 2008 9:59:00 AM  
Blogger Rug's Bug said...

Oh, the sass. I hate the sass.

I take full responsibility for it. What is sarcastic humor for my husband and I is training grounds for the teenage sass.

God, I just hope they don't use it at school.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008 10:03:00 AM  
Blogger Eternal Sunshine said...

Awww... Best going to school/growing up post ever.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008 10:12:00 AM  
Blogger Manager Mom said...

Awww.. FADKOG, you is one rockin' mamma. I hope too that he doesn't discover this until he has kids of his own somday.

And just tell me where to fedex the Franzia.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008 10:36:00 AM  
Blogger Backpacking Dad said...

Legos are the devil's timesuck.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008 11:17:00 AM  
Blogger Michael said...

Lego rocks! I still have a few sets around here, great way to exercise the mind.

My kids don't start school for 2 more weeks. Trust me, having a high school senior is a whole different ball game. ;-)

Wednesday, August 20, 2008 11:45:00 AM  
Blogger MereCat said...

oh half man half boy. More like all boy who thinks he's half man. I remember my mom and I having unholy fits about leaving for school. She taught at the same school and would be in trouble with her job if she were late. I didn't get it. Didn't want to get it.

Sounds like going back to school brings on a different harmony... like a little space!

Wednesday, August 20, 2008 11:48:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wow, you're a lightweight. Remind me of that if I ever decide to take you out and get you drunk.

Also, good luck to your son. First day of school, especially middle school with halls, and lockers, and wandering around aimless, can kinda suck. But, he sounds like he's got enough support he'll survive.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008 12:02:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm already dreading this...and I still have ten more years! My little girl already sasses me (wordlessly...but a tiny toddler hand to the face says a lot)

good luck to you, and the boy!

Wednesday, August 20, 2008 12:26:00 PM  
Blogger Lipstick Jungle said...

Seriously. I just done know what to say. I know in 15 days I will be in your shoes - but with a GIRL (who will be in my clutches in less than 6 hours - if only for two days). You tell me which one is more nerve wracking. I will beg to differ with you if you say BOY!

Happy first day of freedom I mean School!

Wednesday, August 20, 2008 1:15:00 PM  
Blogger Bob said...

Dear Son,

By the time you read this you will have been picked up by two escorts and taken to military school. Your father and I wanted you to know that we love you but this decision was necessary in the interest of our mental health and your safety we have decided to school you this way.

We'll see you on graduation day. Four years will just fly. Just you wait and see.

love, Mom and Dad

(A few of us enjoy this fantasy. . . .and some of us wish we had made that decision for our sons at age fourteen. It might have spared him the agony of becoming dependent on drugs. )

Wednesday, August 20, 2008 2:58:00 PM  
Blogger Bunny said...

Mine big one is just going into first grade and I'm already dreading the day he goes to middle school. I just know those jackals will eat my baby alive. I'm hoping to find a nice K-8 elementary for him. I don't know what I'm going to do about high school. I feel a little ill just thinking about it. Seriously.

Your adoration of your oldest offspring is wonderful and inspiring. I hope I still like my kids that much at that age. Though my three-year-old has already mastered the teenager-style disrespect for her hopelessly clueless mother, so it's doubtful.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008 4:51:00 PM  
Blogger Brian o vretanos said...

The joys of parenthood - it's wonderful seeing your child being their own unique person, and knowing that they'll cope with all the new situations in their own way, that will surprise, shock, please and scare you...

And have you really called him Henry Kissinger? ;-)

Wednesday, August 20, 2008 5:11:00 PM  
Blogger The Savage said...


I lust you muchly.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008 6:09:00 PM  
Blogger MsPicketToYou said...

laughed, cried (WTF? why I am doing that so much lately?), and also want you to come right over here pronto with a bottle of wine. you'll drink that, i'll drink beer, i'll tell you all about my daughter's recent discussion about "popularity," we will consider cleaning up the legos and then say, um no. and drink some more.

but seriously: boy with awesome name? you are one lucky little middle-schooler.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008 6:46:00 PM  
Blogger Meg said...

So sweet.

I felt like writing something similar today on my kids' first day, but then daughter told me she was on son's cell phone and read a text that said he'd been smoking.

Puts a fire extinguisher on any sweetness I was feeling.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008 9:18:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Legos are the devil's work.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008 9:34:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

As the mother of a 16 month old son, this entire blog kind of terrifies me.

But in a good way.

At least, as good as "terrified" can possibly be.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008 10:23:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ha. I love me some legos. They keep my kids occupied for HOURS and it's totally worth the moments of silence even I step on those little plastic bits of hell in the middle of night and curse their very existence.

I wouldn't give them up for anything.

And this post, is why I love you.

Well, that and your incredible rack.

Sorry kid. But your mom's boobs...LEGENDARY.


Wednesday, August 20, 2008 10:24:00 PM  
Blogger Bee said...

Soooo... you're coming over during school hours for some freshly made Margaritas?? Bring the limes!

Wednesday, August 20, 2008 10:38:00 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...

Aww. That just drips with love.

I'd hate to see footage of some conversations I had with my mum. Hey ho.

Thursday, August 21, 2008 12:45:00 AM  
Blogger Tazeen said...

Awww it was beautiful.

I am sure you children will cherish it when they grow up.
After teenage, every passing years makes one realise how precious mothers are and something like this would be a wonderful way to keep the mom with you all the time.

Thursday, August 21, 2008 4:44:00 AM  
Blogger Bijoux said...

The Kenwood was flowing here last night after return trip from college. I feel your growing pains!

Thursday, August 21, 2008 5:56:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

haha! i'll raise a glass of that fine cheap wine with ya, girlie! we'll get the kind that comes in the box. although, i have to work with kids as my job, so i'll need 3/4 of the box. you can have the other 1/4 since you aren't subjected to songs about hos and snott all day like me! hey, i think that's fair, Diff Gal!! hehe. :)

Thursday, August 21, 2008 6:28:00 AM  
Blogger Bogart said...

That letter was so very you...as best as I can tellfrom your blogging.

Thursday, August 21, 2008 8:05:00 AM  
Blogger Heather said...

My daughter has been setting her own alarm clock to get up for school since 3rd grade.

Now, she gets up at 5, makes her own breakfast and gets ready, then walks down to the bus stop. I don't think she'd even notice if I had died in the night and didn't get out of bed.

Thursday, August 21, 2008 10:11:00 AM  
Blogger Loralee Choate said...

We talked about our middle school stress yesterday...I hope today goes well and dude; HOW DID THEY GET SO BIG?!

Thursday, August 21, 2008 10:47:00 AM  
Blogger xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx said...

Oh, I am not looking forward to all that. We're having a hard enough time with Boopie now!

I remember me when I was heading into the teen years. I was not fun. And Boopie is just like me.

I'm doomed!

Thursday, August 21, 2008 1:40:00 PM  
Blogger Ali said...

i am so not going to be able to handle when my kids are in middle school....
and good god help me when emily has a boyfriend!!

Thursday, August 21, 2008 2:51:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I love how you represented all the different emotions rolled into one-so true. And we gotta get that tolerance up, too-get drinking, daily, every afternoon (just kidding-or not) :)

Thursday, August 21, 2008 3:05:00 PM  
Blogger Shonda Little said...

My oldest boy started school this week, so this post totally plucked my heartstrings.

Thursday, August 21, 2008 3:31:00 PM  
Blogger kimmyk said...

i tried to get the first day of school picture this year...so wasn't happening.

all i can think of is that damn book....i recently bought myself another copy because i can't the ORIGINAL that i know is here somewhere.

just too much too soon. it's overwhelming isn't it?

i talk myself out of crying on the daily....

Thursday, August 21, 2008 4:02:00 PM  
Blogger That girl from Shallotte said...

Diff Girl! That was just beautiful. I'm all teary with motherly love and I'm not even a mother. Just proves once again what a kick-ass blogger you are.

Thursday, August 21, 2008 5:03:00 PM  
Blogger for a different kind of girl said...

San Diego Momma - Until I can perfect my time freezing machine, I'm forced to send the boys to school so I have some free time to tinker with the mechanics of my machine!

Des - If I could get this boy of mine to clean up the mess he's made in our basement, I'd willingly lock him down there and just toss some food down from time to time.

zeghsy - My stomachache about the whole thing is still pretty knotted up in my gut!

WWoW - I do the best I'm able to. Thanks!

Rug's Bug - I try to curb the bulk of my sarcasm until I'm at work with my coworkers, but wow, yeah, it slips out a lot at home, and you're right. I'm probably nurturing the sass more than I thought. Definitey requires me to take a deep breath before responding!

Eternal Sunshine - Aww! That's a nice thing to say. Thank you!

Manager Mom - FedEx it to my deck, then follow the truck and will raise a toast together and get all sloppy!

BP Dad - Legos must totally be a boy thing. Barbies were my devil's timesuck, and I would totally suck time today if I had some around here. Barbies, that is. Yeah.

Michael - They sell "Classic" Legos now, from when I was a kid. They're like $50 for this little set of basic pieces! Insane to me. And I'll be truly insane by the time high school rolls around!

Merecat - If we're lucky, that'll little dust up will be the biggest school morning issue will have this year. My fingers are crossed!

Meg - I am a bit of a lightweight crossed with a speedy drinker, so the combination equals fun times for whoever brought me to the party!

Stella blue - He's definitely testing the boundaries lately, which is to be expected. Hopefully we're going to reach a decent balance. I'd have to leave the room to laugh if he put a hand up at me!

Lori - I wish you luck! I can only speak to how I was as a kid, and I was pretty willing to do as I was told, so I was not a boat rocker. My son really isn't, either, but it's so part of the growing up process.

Bob - Aww, but I'd miss his cute little face and how he always cracks a near immediate smile when we play the 'don't smile at me' game!

Bunny - We're doing the first grade thing here, too. By the time that one hits high school, we'll have the other one successfully (fingers crossed) out of it and into college (fingers crossed). First I have to wrap my head around the idea of high school, even though I've just got two days of middle school out of the way!

Brian - The great thing about my boy is his willingness to speak up and try. It frustrates him, and he's got some challenges, but I absolutely admit, he surprises me regularly!

Savage - I know, right!? Also? Thank you, sir...

Ms. Picket - Let us definitely drink, toast our kids, curse the Legos, laugh and cry!

Meg - Ha! Oh, I suppose I should wait for the day!

Undomestic Diva - Legos pillage my bank account and sneak out early the next morning without a kiss or the courtesy to say they'll call in a couple days.

bejewell - For ever blip the kids create, there are a hundred different fantastic and fun blips!

Redneck Mommy - My kids haven't figured out that whole time suck thing yet. They're at me every 15-20 minutes to show me what new thing they created. I can only do so much in 15 minutes, and most of those things I don't want them barging in on, ya know!? You know what I need, though? Lego boob statue. Hell, yes!

Bee - I left yesterday for your place upon this invite. This is my alter ego responding. I should be there now!

Chris - Gah! I can still repeat verbatum some of the conversations I had with my mom! Not pretty! Thanks for coming over and commenting!

Tazeen - Thank you for saying that! I appreciate it.

Cocotte - I'm almost afraid to blink, realizing college will be here before I could ever be prepared!

Katie - Ha! You're totally immersed in it. Let us share our wine!

Bogart - Ha! Um, yeah. It's pretty much exactly what things in my head sound like!

Heather - Here's the rub. All summer long, this kid would be up at like, 6:30 a.m., and get dressed immediately! First day of school? Nope. Didn't feel like it. WTH?!

Loralee - No kidding, right?! Every day, the boys come downstairs and I take a moment and have to calculate how much they grew overnight. It's stunning to me!

iMommy - The good thing is now you know all the tricks and schemes she could use!

Ali - If she gets a boyfriend who calls your house all the time, I suggest you change your number and don't let her know! Seriously, this girl who likes my son is FOREVER calling. I don't even answer the phone here anymore. It's never for me!

Tags-n-stones - I definitely need to get a tolerance for something built up!

Shonda - While I'm glad to get back a little sense of normalcy around here, my strings are totally plucked, too!

kimmy - I have four copies of that book! I'm almost in tears just thinking of the story! Gah! He came home yesterday after the first day and said it was bad, and I swear, the tears sprung to the front of my eyes!

That Girl - Have I told you how I love you? Mind if I tell you again? Totally love you like a teenage girl (or, um, yeah, me) loves Joe Jonas!

Thursday, August 21, 2008 10:34:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Apropos of nothing other than your response to Redneck Mommy... I'd have to imagine that a Lego Boob Statue - one that could go side-by-side in toy stores with their Space Stations and Pirate Ship sets - would be a guaranteed, all-time best seller.

Friday, August 22, 2008 8:53:00 AM  
Blogger for a different kind of girl said...

Twobusy - Ha! And can you imagine if that Lego Boob Statue was in one of those cases that lights up when you walk by it (and I imagine you can), they'd never be able to keep that set on the shelves. Lego would explode, trying to keep up the demand!

Friday, August 22, 2008 9:39:00 AM  

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