Tuesday, September 7, 2010

first day of school

Today was mercifully, and a little sadly, the first day of school. This year we sent our oldest to middle school, which means a bus ride, lockers, six or seven teachers (I can't keep track), a schedule, a dress code and a thousand other things in which I am only peripherally involved.

Comments like this: Mom, if you come to the bus with me I'm so gonna get shoved in a locker. Mom, don't show up at school, please. Mom, I neeeeeed a cell phone now.

I walked him to the bus stop because he said I could (it helped that his friends and their mom showed up too -- hey, at least I didn't have my camera). We had to do the annual back to school picture inside this year, so people didn't see (not sure which 'people' he means, unless my elderly neighbors are secret spies for middle school bullies -- highly unlikely).

I never went to middle school because at Holy Family, you went from Kindergarten to 8th grade in one of two buildings -- one 'the old school,' which was freezing and contained the cafeteria, which doubled as the room where people took their noisy kids during Mass; and one the 'new' (relative term) school, which usually smelled like vomit and sawdust.

We thought it was a big deal when, in seventh grade, our teachers switched classes so that one taught all the math and science, and one taught the English and social studies. Ahem, it was a big deal.

I have no advice for a sixth grader going to school in a really new building, with lockers, schedules and more than one teacher. At least that what I was thinking, until last night when he finally broke down and told me he WAS really nervous.

Me: You'll be fine. You're smart and cool, and all that stuff.
Him: You have to say that about me.
Me: No, I don't. (Hey, I changed this kid's diaper and dressed him in sweater vest for the first four years of his life. I know he wasn't always cool.)
Him: What if I get shoved in a locker?
Me: You won't (remembering that those lockers DID look big enough to sufficiently contain a sixth grader (or, heck, a seventh grader who hadn't hit his growth spurt).
Him: Are you sure?
Me: You never would have been promoted if you weren't completely capable of doing this. You'll be fine. (Making sure not to turn that into a question.)
Him: True. You're right. (See, someone ELSE said he could do it.) Thanks, Mom.

I had basically pulled this stuff out of my, well you know. And he bought it.

Funny thing, even I believed me. He is smart, and cool -- and has a great sense of humor. (Quoting Napolean Dynamite on the way to the bus stop included, something about chapstick ... I'll have to watch that movie.)

So, today he hugged me at the bus stop and we begin this journey. Me here -- him, on the bus, at school, in class, maybe even shoved in a locker (he'll never tell me).

I still have no advice for a sixth grader. But I'm sure he'll be fine ... right?


Carol Sc said...

I loved the conversation! I'm with you --- my schooling was through ninth grade at St. Thomas Aquinas and 10-12 at Resurrection (before Catholic Central) --- it probably is a whole different experience --- and I'm just as glad I don't have to go through it. You did a good "mom" job. Enjoy your sewing!

R said...

I actually did fit in the lockers... but I always climbed in willingly, I was never shoved - or LOCKED in one... he sounds terribly smart & cool, (and if he's anything like his mother - I know this must be true!) :) and of COURSE he'll be fine. he'll probably even be GREAT! loved the conversation - hope he's enjoying middle school :)