He hopped out of the car first, turning around to help his big sister down.
As they made their way up the front walk, their second full day of school already a memory, she moved into the lead…clearly the expert in being dropped off after school. She turned around a few times, making sure her kindergarten brother was close behind.
I watched discreetly. They were smiling and hurrying to the door, anxious to spill the days events at my feet. I did a few mental hand-springs: I have this down. Would you look at them? Uniforms still mainly clean (despite the small dude’s morning run through the sprinklers with the dog – IN said uniform – he claimed he was HOT), backpacks on tired little shoulders, actually looking out for each other. I thought to myself, “I bet they even ate their grapes.”
This back-to-school business is a piece of cake. I win. Whatever the Mom Award is for making it through the first couple of days of school with your kids and your sanity intact….. that award is mine.
“Mommy?” sweet hands reach for mine . Those big blue eyes have a serious question.
“Yes, Buddy…..”, I waited.
“Am I a girl?” I can tell he’s worried.
“No, Coop… you are, most definitely, a boy. Why?”
Coop has the most amazing hair ever. Ever. Thick. Blond. Wavy curl. He has good hair, but it is longer than the other boys in his class. We like it that way. More importantly, HE likes it that way.
I sat myself down right there on the floor in the entry way. You know that whole ‘piece-of-cake’ thing? Who was I kidding? I mentally, and gracefully decline said Mom Award. I don’t know if I will ever be any good at this parenting thing. Seeing your kids sad….or wounded… it doesn’t get easier. And I know I won’t always have the answers. This is just the beginning.
I never took my eyes from his, “Buddy…. you know you are a boy. Sometimes people say things that aren’t nice. That’s ok. We know that words can hurt. You tell him you ARE a boy and walk away. ”
My sweet girl chimed in, brushing his blond hair from his forehead, “Buddy, its ok…. I’ll protect you.”
And with that?
I suddenly felt like I was winning again.**name changed so as not to identify anyone in the class