Monday, September 8, 2008

Little Desks and Water Fountains

Tonight was "Back to School" night at my childrens' elementary school. We had to divide and conquer. It can't be completely unheard of that one family would have two children in the same elementary school, right? Regardless, all of the presentations were scheduled at the same time. 6:00pm. I got to pick where I wanted to go, the choices being my son's first grade class or my daughter's kindergarten room. I might be a horrible person for having Mr. 6'4" go to the kindergarten room and sit in the tiny plastic chairs. Oh well. At least he got apple's a trade off.

As I was sitting at Mikey's little desk with all his little books, crayons and the like, I started to scan the room. For a few moments it was like people watching at the mall. I looked around at the other adults with their knees to their chins (mostly moms) and I began to feel completely out of place. I felt like, "I'm not really a mom, but I play one on TV." I had no idea what the lives of these other people entailed (with the exception of one, who happens to be a friend of mine with a daughter in the same class) but I found myself trying to figure out their story from their faces, their clothes, the questions they asked which ranged from birthday cupcakes to methods for teaching math. I felt incredibly out of place.

I'll begin by saying that I think I live in a community where stay-at-home-motherhood actually exists. It must. There were at least five women who jumped at the chance to be the class mom, thus committing to read stories to the class at noon, bring in cupcakes for birthday parties at 2:00pm, go on field trips excursions departing at 9:00 am and returning in the afternoon. I imagined if this would ever be possible for me. Definitely not the two days a week I travel to Boston, or on the days which follow the nights I'm at a show where an artist started his first set at 11:00 pm.

Then I noticed that I, at age 35, was one of the youngest mothers in the room. Maybe I'm wrong. Maybe I just use an exceptional alpha-hydroxy. I do have this mane of very long hair which my mother keeps reminding me is not fit for a mid-thirties woman. I disagree; I have never colored it and it is quite shiny so me thinks it should stay. Anyway. It was evident that a lot of the parents had been down this road before with their older children. This was a first for me.

For the ride home, I started to wonder if I've been doing this whole thing wrong from the get go. I never went to Mommy & Me classes or Gymboree type establishments. I hope I wasn't just too overly involved in my crazy career and a jet-setting lifestyle to meet their little needs. Michael did not meet the likes of Chuck E. Cheese until he was 6. But he did meet Steven Tyler before he was 2. He's been to Indianapolis, Indiana and Frankenmuth, Michigan. (Yes that's a real place and a story for another blog - remind me.) Hell, he has been in the Jungle Room at Graceland, the Redwoods of Northern California and backstage at more concert halls than most adults. Am I really the crazy mom? Come on - every school had one or two. Am I it? Have Michael and Sarah missed something essential to their formative years? No wee one soccer games. But they've been to Jets games. Ughhhhh!!!!! Have I robbed them?

They don't seem maladjusted in any way. Maybe they will just grow up appreciating that I'm not a "hockey mom" either with or without lipstick. I am most uncomfortable making idle chit-chat about home improvements with the neighbors. I would NEVER survive the PTA. I start to feel claustrophobic most Sunday afternoons so we hardly stay within our four walls. Sarah doesn't go for ballet lessons, but we have our own hysterical dance parties. Michael doesn't play t-ball on a team, but I'm a hell of a pitcher for a mom and he's got a hell of an arm. I don't have a glue gun and couldn't knit to save my life. We laugh at the dinner table, sometimes inappropriately, and somehow even I get drenched when they're getting their baths.

I don't know. Maybe I'm doing it all wrong. I just know they are happy. I just know they know how to love, they're not afraid to say it and they go to bed every night with a giggle. I guess that's all that really matters.


Anonymous said...

they are great kids!
good JOB! not to worry, you're a great mom.
pta activities are snoozers. i cannot say brownies changed my life. seeing van morrison drunk onstage did. he was my hero when small.
i remember di and i in the back of the room when kid hit sixth grade. whose idea is it to put 6th graders in junior high?
anyhow, you know how we roll. we looked out of place. but then again, we looked too young too.
or i did. hahahha.

Girl Rants said...

oh and i love that shot. thanks for being the kind of mom whom doesnt bark sears poses at me.

CurePdd said...

There is no right or wrong, there is just love. If you love, you are doing right by your children. Shane started baseball at 13, and while the girls have been dancing since 2 & 3, it was there decision, NOT mine. PTA is over rated- often used as a "validate me" platform then for the love of the kids. I ride the make your kids happy train, no matter what activities you choose. Your kids are adorable, everyone doubts mommyhood. Don't. They are always smiling.

Michael Manning said...

Wonderful kiddos! They sound so cool!!! Mr. 6'4" in a plastic chair! Hahaha!!!!