I took my youngest to middle school this week.
Let me take that back. She went to middle school this week. For the first time since our children started school (or Mother’s Day Out), I didn’t take one or both to school on the first day. That’s not a complaint. It’s just something I realized in the last days of summer.
My memory failed me. I lied. The Boy rode the bus on the first day of kindergarten. When he got home that day, he said it was too hot. From that day forward, we were carpool people. After all, in Augusta we start school in August. The most efficient air conditioning won’t cool a bus of sweaty kids. Sweaty buses always make me think of the kid, at the end of “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off” that offers sweaty gummy bears to the frazzled principal. Gross.
The Girl was excited and nervous to start school. Unlike her brother, she had plenty of questions.
“What do we do with our bookbags when we get to school?”
There aren’t hooks with a cartoon frog and your name in neat teacher handwriting waiting in your homeroom like there are in kindergarten. When I told her she’d carry it with her, just like in the high school movies, all day, she gasped and let out a little cheer.
“Where will I sit for lunch? With my class?”
No, baby. You’ll walk in to lunch all alone and hope you find someone you know to sit with. Until I hear you’ve had success, I’ll be over here Mama Worrying.
Mama Worrying is very different from Helicopter Parenting, FYI. I suppose it may vary from mom to mom, but, for me, it’s just a little butterfly type wonder/worry I get from time to time. I won’t act on it, though. It’s not the kind of worry you have when your kids ride around the block on their bikes for the first time or when you leave them home alone.
I say I won’t act on it. I might’ve lied again. I might’ve asked a couple of teachers to spy on her. I didn’t want her to know. I was really curious about how her day was, so I asked them to tell me if they say her. They did. She was happy. Apparently she was smiling and hugging people all day. It’s not all that surprising if you know her. Until the first day, she hadn’t talked to anyone with the same lunch period, so bear with me. I had Mama Worry.
The other questions she had were easily answered, either by me, the school summer info packet or her older brother. She’ll figure the rest of it out, whether the Mama Worry continues or not. Her supply list was mostly complete, and we’ll get the rest. We packed the perfect lunch. She knew her schedule, and she perfected the art of locker opening. According to her, she had the perfect outfit. It was “exactly” how she pictured herself looking on the first day of sixth grade.
That’s all good and well, little girl. I’m happy you’re happy. It’s not how I pictured you on the first day of sixth grade, though. You’re far too young, and it’s time to come home. I’ll totally save you a seat at lunch.