At seven-going-on-seventeen it is so easy to be mortified. With the start of a new year of school I am watchful for the subtle shifts in behavior. Do I get a kiss when the school bus pulls up? Am I woefully out of touch as I suggest outfits for the first week of school?
So far it seems my sweet, big girl is still my funny, little girl underneath it all. The first day of school outfit was a smashing success and I got a kiss AND a hug in front of the school bus. There was no additional waving once the bus was boarded but the tinted windows on the bus let me believe that perhaps I just missed it.
Day one was a win all the way around.
Day two started smoothly. And then every parent’s favorite – “Oh, wait. I did have homework” – moments before the bus is to arrive. Ever dramatic (where does she get that from?) she clarified that actually she just had to think about something that makes her unique and be prepared to talk about it in class. Seizing an opportunity to make her roll her eyes, I made several suggestions. “You could tell them about how everyone in your family is criminally insane.”
“I try and appear totally normal at school.” Good luck with that, kid.
“Umm, you could talk about what it is like to live in a house with a mother that is so incredibly beautiful?” This is funnier if said mother is wearing a nightgown and half a ponytail and her pink fuzzy slippers.
Eye roll number two. And a smile. The eye roll/smile combo is essential to my parenting. If I can get her to be annoyed and find it all at once unavoidable to reveal the fact that she shares my sense of warped humor I know I am doing something right. We all need our own parenting yardstick and this is mine. This sense of humor has served me well and it is all I hope to pass down.
I was hula-hooping in the driveway with Lucy when the bus arrived in the afternoon. (Testimony to her still being a little more kid than pre-teen, this is not embarrassing at all.) Em hopped off the bus as she always does, mid-sentence. She had a smirk on her face. “How was your day?” I called to her.
“Well… it was embarrassing.”
Uh-oh. “Look what someone put in my backpack!”
It could have been so much worse. We were in the front yard after school on Monday and Lucy was picking vegetables. It seems she thought she would pack Em a snack. In the greater scheme of things, of all the things she could have slipped in her backpack a squash isn’t so bad.
Traditions are born in funny ways. I am tempted. The Second Day of School Squash might elicit the eye roll/smile for many years to come. Or at least I hope it does. I have made a note in my calendar. Late August, 2014. “Stick squash in Em’s backpack.”