Thursday, May 28, 2009

The Little Things

We're sitting side by side on floor watching So You Think You Can Dance. He's got a giant bowl of popcorn on his lap and I'm shoveling in cold couscous from dinner. A pretty ballerina glides across the stage on screen, and he sucks in his breath and whispers, "She's beautiful, Mama...I'm gonna marry her! Do you think she would want to marry me?"


He leaves the room without a word and returns a few minutes later. "See?!" he exclaims, "I told you I'd be back in a jiffy!"


"I'm gonna need a blue van," he says, completely out of nowhere. "To take my drivers test on", he explains to my confused face. "And when I drive my girlfriend around town we can meet you somewheres and play together."

He's kind of awesome, and I know every mama thinks that about their own, and each and every one of them is exactly right. But I couldn't imagine a better match of a kid for this mama.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Testing Day

Yesterday was my 33rd birthday, and as a gift to me, my town's education system decided to take my child off my hands for a couple of hours and run him through his paces in preparation for kindergarten. I was a nervous wreck. We've already established that my son and I are mightily attached to each other, and this was the first time I would be leaving him someplace without me or my mother.

All the parents and their offspring milled around the entrance to the cutest little elementary school you've ever seen. The kids all took off running to the playground leaving us adults to stare at each other awkwardly, wondering if we should strike up a conversation with each other or just stare at the packets of paperwork we all had clutched in our hands.

I chose to stare at my paperwork. These parents, mostly moms, all looked like such...such...I don't know, responsible adults. Most of them were in mom jeans and flat toed chunky heeled boots...not that there's anything wrong with that mind you, it's just such a mom thing to wear. There I stood in Chuck Taylors with my hair in a messy ponytail, my car the only Civic in a sea of minivans, and they looked me up and down like maybe I was the babysitter. Great.

My friend Wendy had taken her son the day before and gave me a run down on what would happen, so I had already explained to Lucas that I wouldn't be sticking around after testing started. The teacher running the check in asked him his name. "Lucas", he answered. "And what's your last name, sweetie?" "Skywalker," he replied, without missing a beat. Everyone in line gave a little chuckle and the Principal threw his head back and laughed. Oh, I thought, this won't be so bad. And then Teacher Lady decides to get in on the act and tells him, "Who is your father?", in her best Darth Vader voice. My heart sank; I knew what was coming next. Lucas had already started walking away from her, and he spun back around and announced to the entire room in a voice clear and loud that he didn't have a dad. He only had a mom. And as thirty or so sets of eyes settled on me I wished for ground to open up and swallow me whole. When that didn't happen I sort of smiled to the crowd, kissed my kid, told him to be a good listener and good friend, and made a beeline for the door. He's right, he doesn't have a dad, but I'm proud of our family and he is too. And I've told him that all families are different and just because you don't have a dad, that doesn't mean that you're missing anything. That some families don't have Grandmas or Aunts or Uncles, and he has all those things and more. But it didn't lessen the sting in the moment.

In the end, it turns out that he loves his little school and he can't wait to go back. And I got a little taste of what life will be like in the fall. Hours and days and even weeks of alone time to fill with whatever I chose awaits me. I'll probably just pick up a second job, because I'm practical like that, but maybe not right away. Now we wait for his letter, announcing the teacher that will begin his formal education and help shape how he views school and knowledge and learning. And we will spend this summer searching out the world's most perfect Star Wars lunchbox, because it's simply never to early to start looking for the perfect lunchbox.

Friday, May 15, 2009


He's starting school. When I start to think about it it feels like a one ton weight on my chest. And yes, I realize every child goes to school. My preshus little baby isn't the only one, nor is he the first...but, BUT! How will I know that his teacher will be kind? That she'll be good to him? That she'll know how get him to stop talking about Star Wars non-stop without hurting his feelings? Will he come home with a potty mouth? Will he survive spending the entire day, every day, away from me? We've been together 24/7 for five's a valid concern, he's 5 1/2 he's only just had his first baby sitter.

Oh...the anxiety!

That is, until I went to the school's Parent Information Night. And the school is awesome. And the teachers seem awesome. And Mr. Principal is cute. Heh.

He goes for his testing time on Tuesday and I'm supposed to leave him there for a couple of hours so they can get an idea of what he's like. I'll need to plan something to do during that time so that I don't spend every second of it sure that my kid is in tears and begging for me. Which, I know won't happen...but it COULD. But it won't.

Giving His (Future) School's Playground a Test Run:

Tuesday, May 12, 2009


I woke up this morning to find my five year old son scrubbing the bathroom floor with baby wipes. When I asked him what he was doing he told me he was "cleaning the bathroom so that I wouldn't have to do any of this back breaking work".


Friday, May 8, 2009

A First for Everything

Lucas had a sitter tonight.

What? That's not front page news for you? Because it is for us. He's starting kindergarten in a few short months, and thanks to an indulgent/loving/local Grandma, I've never had to hire a sitter to go anywhere or do anything...including work. That makes us incredibly lucky and blessed, yes, but I have this fear of Lucas freaking out at kindergarten because he doesn't know how to be away from me or my mom. He doesn't really know how to be in the company of another adult by himself. He might not be nervous about this, but I was.

I did hire a sitter one night when I had company, but we had all the kids in bed when she got here and none of them woke up while we were out, so really...tonight was a first.

He had a blast.

I worry about everything for no reason.

The movie was good and so was dinner. This sitter thing would be sweeeeeet, if only I didn't have to pay her before she left. It turns out my mother has saved me approximately 11 billion dollars in babysitting fees over the past five years. Bless her heart.