School is starting next week and I’m…..well, might be, not totally sad? Last year, I was emotional about middle starting kindergarten. But, last week, I’ll say, the full moon was coming and that didn’t help. I suddenly felt religious! I changed a well known prayer! (The Vatican hasn’t called. I guess they’re just not into new stuff? Frankly, I don’t think it would kill them to mix it up but WHO am I?)
God, grant me the serenity to accept that school doesn’t start til the 27th,
The courage to change happy hour if need be,
And the wisdom to know that while I love my boys with every fiber of my being, even prisoners get an hour of free time, yo.
Summer started and I was all, “Whee!!! We’re going to the beach! We’re gonna enjoy lazy days! We’re gonna sit and sip lemonade and look at stars and read awesome books!”
And then little people burped. And farted. And literally waved their tushes in my face and inquired, “DO I HAVE POOP IN MY BUTT?”
And so now, I can’t stand the sound of my own voice.
And kind of tired.
Flush the toilet!
Wash your hands!
Who crunched Cheez-It’s all over the couch?
Stop leaving your undies under the bathroom vanity!
Don’t use your shirt as a napkin!
The questions! The thousands of questions, mostly from one of them. Not just questions for me, questions for randoms. On vacation, he asks the 75 year old woman next door, “So, do you rent or own?”
Who asks people that? We don’t!
We’re at a pool, chatting with a mom and her daughter. He asks her, “Where’s your husband?”
She says, “I don’t have a husband.”
He presses, “YOu don’t have a husband! Everyone needs someone to kiss!”
My own sister is divorced, but he picks the stranger at a pool to question about the mysteries of where divorcees get their kisses!
We get new neighbors at home, and of course, he goes for it….
Man child: “So, where do you and your husband work?”
New Neighb: “We both work at Fidelity.”
Man child: “So…is that like a restaurant or a store? What is it?”
ME, nervous laughter: “It’s sort of like a bank, where your tiny college fund is!”
Which you will clearly not need, because you have no boundaries, and will probably start selling time shares in the 5th grade! Which is good, because then I will have lost my ever loving mind, and will likely need round the clock care. Don’t skimp now! Remember who wiped your arse 5,439 times!
This one won’t sit still. The energy is boundless. But he is sunshine and light—the sweetest–and the most loyal. When the doctor asks him this summer, “Have you been reading every day?”, he looks back at me, looks at her, and says, “Possibly?” because he’s trying to stick up for me because knows we should be, yet despite our grand plans, sometimes we shower off the dirt, and plunk ourselves in front of a show instead. We do. We did. I admit it. (Stop. We have time shares to fall back on. He’ll be fiiiine.)
Someone picks on this kid’s brother, he is first in line to stick up for him. He’s all Donnie Wahlberg pre New Kids On The Block.
But if something doesn’t go his way, his temper flares. He’s the first to pitch a fit. To challenge me. And wind me up. And ask me why, why, why, why, a thousand whys. I wonder if he has ADD? So I Google it. And then wonder if I am just that impatient as I struggle to fill the up the days, know all the answers, refill all the drinks while the two others jump from family room chairs, yelling, “Cannonball!” and ask questions like, “Who is your favorite American?”, “How many miles away is the moon?”, “Why would a child die?”, “Is Jesus skinny because all the blood runned out of him when he was nailed to that board?” I fear I just don’t have all the answers–I say the wrong thing, do the wrong thing. (My Jesus answer was good though—I said I thought he was skinny because there were no McDonald’s and no cars then—people ate right and walked everywhere! Again, Vatican, call me!)
Pickets are missing from my fence. Curtains are askew. Nothing stays clean. Things are sticky, and every morning is Ground Hog day as I pick up the assortment of socks and shoes and Beyblades around the house and howl after I step on an errant Lego barefoot. Pinterest is a distant memory. How would I ever make cupcakes that look like minions and create my own art when I can hardly keep my floors and my kids clean?
And when we have a playdate over–brother’s friend from school and his mom, whom I don’t know well, this kid whips out a Bud Light 40 from the fridge (*You’d believe me if I said it was leftover from my 40th, right??)..He swings the bottle with gusto and shouts, “This is mah mom’s drink!”
At 11 AM.
And yet, when I smash my pinkie toe on a clunky basketball sneaker left astray in the middle of the kitchen floor tonight, the one who chose to stay behind to hang with mama to look at family photos while daddy took the other two on an errand, rushes to help. It’s throbbing and I’m fighting back letting loose a litany of choice words.
“Would you like some ice? I can wrap it in a towel?”
“Why don’t you sit down?”
He pushes the ottoman toward the sofa, puts a pillow on the ottoman.
“Here, put your foot up.”
He leaves the room, comes back with a water and a pack of frozen corn for my toe.
And I realize that there will be plenty of time for reading–a lifetime. He has so much to learn, and he will learn, but being loyal and loving and compassionate, he already has in spades.
We’re ready for school. We’re ready. Amen.