August 30, 2012

and then my heart jumped into my throat

Yesterday was the first day of school around here. And while the first day of a school year is always exciting, this year was a banner one for us. New school, new town, new bus, and the first chance my two have had to go to the same school. Evelyn has been waiting to get on that bus with her brother since he started Kindergarten and finally, FINALLY, she did. All smiles and waves as they drove away.

At the end of their day I was up at the end of the road, waiting for the bus, waiting for them to tell me about their day. Bus pick up time is my favorite. In the mornings I'm usually groggy- clutching my coffee and pulling my sweater tight against the morning air, sometimes still in my PJ's, almost always rushed. A quick kiss and they're off. But in the afternoon I have (hopefully) gotten done what needed to get done, am (again, I hope) fully dressed, caffeinated and awake and I've had a whole day to miss them. I really do miss them. too.  I know that there will be the homework battle (Briton) and the dinner battle (Evie) and the bedtime battle (Briton again) but for those moments, from the door of the bus to the door of the house, everything is rosy. We talk about their day, we hug, we smile. Like I said, it's my favorite time of day.

Yesterday they both popped off the bus smiling and talking a mile a minute.

"We had MUSIC mom and I SANG and I LOVED IT!"

"There are two boys and two girls at my table and there are SIXTH graders in our class too!"

"We have recess all together and I saw Briton but I didn't play with him because I was playing with my friends but I said hi to him and he was playing with his friends out on the field and then they made grape juice from the grapes on the playground."

"The pizza at lunch was AWESOME, mom. And it was healthy, I think I should eat hot lunch everyday." (more on that later, our school has a crazy amazing lunch program. I saw them kneading the dough for homemade pizza when we went to the first day coffee hour after school started)
And then Briton stopped and let his sister run ahead, his voice dropping to almost a whisper.

"Mom, I have a problem."

I had a little moment of panic. Is he being bullied? Does he hate his teacher? Did someone hurt his feelings?"

"Next month. There's a dance. And not a mother son dance, mom. A BOY GIRL dance. And....I have to ask a girl."

And my heart jumped right up to my throat. Because...NO! I'm not ready for that!

I tired to keep my cool, to not start, you know, crying right then and there that my baby is going on, basically, a date, in a month. I smiled and said "That will be fun." or maybe "Cool Briton." Or it might have been a little blubbery and incoherent like "Mah, whaaa? Fun, yay!" I'm not really sure. But he didn't seem to notice.

"I know who I want to ask. She's really nice. The things is...she's always with her friends. How am I supposed to get her alone to ask her."

Cue the inner sobbing here.

"And, what if someone else asks her first? I don't want to ask too early, but I don't want someone else to ask her either. What should I do?"

At this point, obviously, I'm barely holding it together on the inside, but my brain has started functioning again and I'm able to brainstorm with him on the way home. Maybe you could write her a note? Or ask your friends how they are going to ask. Maybe two of you can go up together and ask her and a friend. And then when Will got home we talked more, because dad knows, he had to ask girls to dances too.

I think he has a plan. He's trying to act cool about it, although I know he's nervous. But there is a plan. He does the guy head nod/shrug and says "OK, I think I know how to do it."
How did he grow up so fast?