This week seems to be beating us up.
I’m always so enthusiastic for that first week back to school, because it’s New Year’s Day’s sister. As in, FRESH START! FRESH START! You can make a ton of New Year’s resolutions, and you can make a ton more when school starts in the fall. Every year I pack the refrigerator and pantry with ALL THE HEALTHY FOOD we’ll be eating, because SCHOOL IS IN SESSION!, and I drag that old crockpot (the workhorse of the school week) out of the cabinet and fill it with every manner of wholesome goodness, because I am PREPARED and READY and I’VE BROUGHT MY “A” GAME TO THE ARENA. I iron shirts and shorts for school, and the house is clean, and we take showers earlier than ever before, because we are ON TOP OF OUR GAME, and bedtimes are on time, and here’s some hummus and a bag of carrots for your snack, and LOOK AT US!! It’s a Stepford Wife in the middle of the perfect family of Waltons.
We were that family last Sunday night.
And now it’s all, “GET OUT OF BED! SCHOOL STARTS IN TWENTY MINUTES!” Apparently, the parents should be up, because fourteen-year-olds can’t drive themselves yet. And this morning, I looked in our pantry and handed Thing 2 a lunchbox-sized bag of potato chips for his snack, because WHAT ELSE WAS THERE? And also, WHO IS GOING TO THE GROCERY STORE THIS WEEK? And WILL ANYONE BE WASHING SOCKS, OR ARE WE BUYING NEW ONES AT WALMART?
I think the wheels have already fallen off of that back-to-school, bright yellow bus.
Except I did put dinner in the crockpot first thing this morning, so LOOK AT ME SHINE!
I just have a few things tonight, because I need to sign eighteen more permission slips for field trips and six more papers stating that I have, indeed, gone over the class requirements with my child, and we will not be surprised to hear that he will be sent home if he wears spaghetti straps to school.
1. The boy’s big news this week is that he was invited to start practicing with the high school’s golf team, and he’s JUST an 8th grader.
It took everything in me to PULL THE REIGNS BACK, GLADYS, and NOT snap a picture of him at the golf course when I dropped him off, as he went off with the Freshman and JV teams for an afternoon of practice, but the boy let me know that HIGH SCHOOLERS PROBABLY FROWN ON YOUR MOM TAKING YOUR PICTURE AT PRACTICE.
And then I remembered the whole concept of snapping up your acid-washed, denim jacket, flinging your hair that didn’t fling (what with the four gallons of aerosol Aqua Net you’d used that morning) over your shoulder, stomping in your Keds without the shoelaces, and turning up the volume on Bon Jovi in your walkman, as you marched away from your mother and said, “Please don’t embarrass me.”
Just PRETEND that this stock picture from our summer’s archives of the boy is one of him practicing with THE HIGH SCHOOL GOLF TEAM TODAY, EVEN THOUGH HE’S JUST A JUNIOR HIGH BOY!!
And pretend that you can hear the golf coach saying in the background, “The golf pro who gave the boy lessons this summer told me that I need to get to know this kid, because he golfs as well as anyone I have on the Freshman and JV teams right now.”
2. My first week back at PE went smoothly, but I won’t sugarcoat things: I pretty much felt like I’d been tackled by a 400-pound lineman who eats chicken bones for breakfast. This has definitely been the week of MAMA’S TIRED, SO WE MAY BE BUYING SOCKS AT WALMART THIS WEEK INSTEAD OF WASHING THEM AFTER ALL.
My classes are all filled with kiddos who are cute as buttons, and I’m in love with them.
Yesterday, one of my second graders had a knot in his sneaker’s shoelace that qualified him for WORST KNOT OF EVER status. It took me a sweet forever to help him get it out, and I began to panic that my manicure was going to die a violent death. After I’d broken a sweat, thought approximately nine different curse words in my head, and was ready to ask the coach to either put in the replacements or USE SCISSORS, the knot came out of that shoelace. When I handed him his tennis shoe back, the little guy looked at me and said, “Thanks, Mom!” And then he turned nineteen different shades of red and sputtered, “Ah… I mean… um… you know…”
I think he slammed his palm across his face and whispered, “I just called my PE teacher MOM.”
His second grade career can only go up from here.
3. My friend, Amy, and I went to see the movie If I Stay last night. Amy and I are famous for clutching one another’s arms and hands and sobbing our brains out in sad movies, but I couldn’t work it up in this one.
Which, I suppose, was fine, because Amy cried enough for three people. I kept feeling tears shoot out of my left eyeball, but not my right one, and WHAT ON EARTH?! How does anyone cry out of one eye, if neither of them is made of glass?
So, I really have no idea how to rate this movie for you, if you haven’t seen it yet. Amy would call it a WHOLE BOX OF KLEENEX flick, even though we forgot to bring tissues, so she had to use her sweatshirt’s sleeve, and I just used my index finger to wipe a few tears off of my left cheek a couple of times. I guess you’ll just have to go MIDDLE OF THE ROAD, and know that you’re either going to sob uncontrollably… or you’re not.
But movies with Amy are always fun, because we like the exact same shows. We NEVER walk out of the theater with differing opinions. Ever. Even last night. I didn’t cry as much as she did, which just indicates FIRST TIME FOR EVERYTHING, but we both loved it, and now I want to take cello lessons. I can truly see Amy and I as 92-year-old women, clutching one another in the theater, bawling over some high school prom movie, because we’re the only two grownups I know who still appreciate Teen Drama Shows.
4. Thing 2 has become a POTTYING MACHINE, y’all!!
He has worked his way through a big bag of M&Ms this week, because he’s constantly PEEING ON THE BIG BOY POTTY! In fact, he’ll look at me, tell me that he wants some M&Ms, and then he’ll run to the toilet. He’s still wetting his diaper in between M&M runs, but goodness! He’s not even officially two-and-a-half yet, and the boy was NEARLY THREE before he even tinkled a single time on the potty.
(Have I ever mentioned that potty training the boy was THE VERY WORST EXPERIENCE OF MY LIFE???)
I’m still approaching Potty Training, Volume 2 with a laid back, at-ease style, because I don’t want to jinx it, but listen! On Sunday, our adorable toddler tinkled twice on the potty. On Monday, he went FIVE ENTIRE TIMES!! And Tuesday and Wednesday, even though I was working, we still got in four tinkles each day. Today, we’ve only had three, but we’ve cheered like college students celebrating a blowout score at a home game.
And that’s going to do it for this week, y’all.
We’re going to take Labor Day Weekend to buy some real groceries, because, in the words of the boy, “It would sure be nice to be a normal family again who actually has a box of cereal in their pantry.” We’re also going to do some laundry, buy a bigger bag of M&Ms, and hit a high school football game.
And then we’re going to just hang out with our boys, because MMMM! I love just being with those two kids of ours.
Y’all have a great holiday weekend. Be safe.