Tuesday, August 22, 2006
Back to School
A mother sitting on the bench outside the fitting room, looking sad, dejected and angry.
A girl inside one of the fitting room cubicles, crying and angrily trying on mini-skirts.
"What do you think?"
"I don't care."
Yep, it's back to school shopping again.
Today, I take her to her school's back-to-school picnic. No sooner than Arabella gets her Freshman Schedule and a ticket to get her drink and hot dog, she ditches me to go find her friends.
I stand there and eat my hot dog and drink my drink, standing near some people I almost know but not sitting down because they don't invite me to. After I finish my Ohana Raspberry Lemonade and eat my hot dog, plain because who wants to fumble with ketchup and mustard while juggling a purse and a drink with no plate and no place to sit. I stand in the half shade for a while, walk into the school and try to spot her. I recognize one girl with burgundy streaked hair and ask her where Cynthia is but I must sound as exasperated as I feel because she just shrugs. I walk around for another second or two and decide screw this. She doesn't really miss me and I'm sick of getting parentally dissed and I'm really not looking forward to hanging around like a dejected wall-flower for the next four years because she doesn't want to be the uncool one with her mom when in reality, since it was a back-to-school event, everyone was there with at least one parent in tow.
But I get the clueless kid who thinks it's ok to ditch her mom. Screw it. So I came home and decided to catch up on my blog. She'll figure out I'm gone eventually and if it's dark when she calls, I'll go get her. If it's still daylight, she'll have to walk.
I never thought that this would be my relationship with my kid. Most days it's not. But I see the pangs of adole....
Ah, the phone rang. It was her asking me why I left her. The nerve! I left her? She ditches me, does the tour of her classes by herself (and I really would have liked to have met her teachers maybe we'll do the whole thing again since I said I'd come get her even though it's daylight) and supposedly, I left her.
I've got four more years of this kid pretending that I'm not really her mother, just her chauffeur.
No matter how much you try to prepare yourself for that, no many how many times you read it in a book or see it in a sitcom, and even if you know that your kid won’t be any different than the millions of other kids…
It still hurts.
So I went back. And she very graciously and kindly asked if I would like to meet her teachers. We walked around the school, met the teachers, she showed me where her new locker would be.
She can be very kind when she wants to be and she was in a very light and determined way doing her best to be a good hostess on our little tour this time around.
As we were leaving I asked her outright, "Am I going to spend the next four years suffering from "Chauffeur Syndrome"?
"Where you walk around pretending I'm not really your mother, just your "ride".
She had the grace to look sheepish for a moment and even at that she still had to think about it for a moment or two.
And the rest of the evening was all right. We ordered Chinese.
Tomorrow school begins.