Thursday, August 30, 2012

You can let go now...

Yesterday was my son's first day of Kindergarten.
He was unbelievably excited.
And worried that we would forget to wake him up, so he wants his own alarm clock. (Valid. There will come a day when we forget to wake him up, and it will probably be next week.)

He wanted to take the school bus, but I insisted on driving him--this first day.
We got out of the car and I reached for his hand as we crossed the parking lot, and snapped this shot to the side. I didn't want him to notice the camera.

The truth is, as I reached for his hand, I realized that he doesn't really need to hold my hand anymore. So I really cherish every little second left when he's *willing* to hold *mine*.

We crossed the parking lot and reached the front doors when he let go, with a shake. Seeming to say "You can let go, Mom. Really."

So much easier to say than to do.

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Well. That was awkward...

Oh, for the love.

School open house. These are hectic affairs where I, as the parent, feel more nervous about making a good first impression than my kids do. I mean, come on. These teachers are probably a good decade younger than me, but I'm still intimidated at the prospect of meeting a teacher.

First up: Thing 2's kindergarten teacher, Miss Miller. We were only there 3 minutes before I got all flustered. That will happen when you realize that your kids have not only rearranged all the carefully placed post-it notes with "Wish List" items on them, but then proceeded to scribble all over the shiny white boards. With permanent marker. In less time than it took me to fill out a single "Room Parent" form. (So sorry, custodial staff.)

In this state of slight-frazzle we apologetically head out the door and walk one hall over to meet Mrs. Gordon, 3rd grade teacher of Thing 1. I am so nervous about making a good impression on her. My daughter is so incredibly good, and I so desperately want this teacher to appreciate that. We walk through the door, shake hands, and, before I could stop myself, I took in the stance and the look and asked her when she was due.

I know.


I just wanted to die.
I still just want to die.
Because I KNOW that you do NOT ask that question. EVER EVER EVER EVER EVER EVER EVER.
But I did.
And she's not.
And in case you were wondering, there is no way to recover from that question. All you can do is look at the person, apologize profusely, and hand them a 100 dollar bill as penance.

Let's hope that my daughter has better social skills than I do.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

1 Mile.

When I was a junior high student, we were required to take a P.E. class. Our teacher was Mrs. Binks--a sleek, muscular woman who, as I recall, had a perm in her fe-mullet and wore lots of blue eyeshadow with white eyeliner. I dreaded her class. Because 1. I hate sports (a frustrating and painful combination of being highly competitive and completely uncoordinated) and 2. I had huge boobs, even then. (Ah, junior high. A bundle of awkwardness.) Anyway. Every day, I would shlump into class and moan about whatever it was we were required to do that day. Badminton? Yuck. Volleyball? Ick. Basketball? Kill me now. But the worst? The much dreaded and yearly required one mile run.

A windy day. Everyone standing around in their baggy shorts and baggy t-shirts. I have tried to get out of this in every possible way, including getting truly sick, but it's no use. I have to make it around the track 4 times. Mrs. Binks blows the whistle and off we go. Digging in stubbornly, I set off at a walk.  A slow walk. An "I'll show YOU one mile" walk. Some of the girls fly around the track, finish their 4 laps, and flop on to the grass for the rest of the hour. Some of the girls jog persistently with their friends, chatting.

I get slower and slower, the gravel of the track crunching under my feet.
I finish dead last.
I hate P.E. and, I vow, no one will ever force me to run one mile.

Fast forward almost 18 years. I am still completely uncoordinated. My boobs are bigger than ever. The track is not gravel, but a red clay silt, muddy from recent rain. I pull on Saucony's and a knee brace, and I begin to run.

One lap.
And the impossible: four.

I ran a mile, and no one even made me.
And you know what? I came home, looked up Mrs. Binks, and sent her a message on facebook. Just to let her know: I finally ran a mile.

Let's hear it for teachers everywhere, teaching hard lessons that it may take their students almost two decades to learn.

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Chubby girl jogging... (Or "Are we there yet?!")

I joined the Y this past week and started working out with a personal trainer--my friend Nellie, who is doing me the greatest favor of my life.

On the first day, she told me that we were going to run around the track.
Which makes half a mile.

And my first thought was "There is no. way."

But I did. I actually wobbled jogged half a mile. And I did it again, every day this week. So, now that I'm an experienced runner and all, here are a few of my observations.
1. People love to see a chubby girl jogging. I feel like Santa, bringing joy to all the skinny people who give me two thumbs up and encouraging pats as they jog past me on the track. It's fantastic. I honestly feel like I'm providing some sort of hope to the masses by getting this size 20 rear on to a track every day.
2. I am so proud of myself for running, at all. But I gotta tell ya'--I have no idea how I will EVER run more than this half mile. Seriously people, 26 miles??? You are out of your blessed minds.
3. Running is sexy. Jogging is not sexy. But then again, neither is my sports bra. 12 hooks in the front, people. TWELVE.
4. Running alone is the worst kind of mind game there is. On the days when I don't meet up with Nellie, my mental conversation goes something along the lines of "This sucks. I hate it. Ouch. Ouchouchouch. Oh well. Keep going. I can do this. No problem. Just keep going. I want to sleep for a week. This sucks."

Five days down. One million to go.