Monday, August 25, 2008

It's Not About Me

In an instant, I can become that nervous, giddy, excited 7th grade girl that I once was . . . on the first day of school. Conjuring up the insecurity, the anticipation, and the overwhelming fashion decision that always accompanied those first few days of school comes pretty easily to me and it seemed only natural that my son would be feeling at least a little bit the same way.

We went to pick up his schedule for middle school today.

I died a thousand deaths.

I couldn't sleep last night, thoughts of how afraid I was, how nervous I was and how completely freaked out I was when I was in his shoes kept swirling in my brain. Even the extra melatonin did nothing to ease the onset of slumber. I am thinking that tonight, if the same problem arises, I might just drag that bottle of NyQuil out from my medicine cabinet and give it a whirl.

But it's not about me. It's about him.

Tell that to the lady in the mirror trying to decide what to wear to pick up her son's middle school schedule for the first time.

Not only was I struggling with my wardrobe choices, it was really difficult to quiet that little girl inside me screaming, "You're going to look like a dork!" Try as I might to hush her, there she was - tsk tsking me in the mirror and telling me that a) I better not look like one of those moms who are trying to compete with her tweens friends, and that b) I better not look like a hot frumpy mess either.

It's not about me. It's about him.

But we all know how harsh and judgemental packs of kids can be, especially middle school kids - so I felt it my parental duty to neither embarrass nor humiliate my kid on this, his first day of wandering the new school campus finding his classes with his mother. I mean, it was bad enough that I had to tote his siblings and the Bitty Baby his sister lovingly refers to as my 4th child. Let's not add insult to injury.

Middle school here we come. We wandered the halls with the other mother-kid combos and I tried to keep as low a profile as possible (which was hard since some of the same teachers I tormented in middle school are still teaching). Please have mercy on my child, don't hold him responsible for all the disrespectful things I said and did in the 7th grade.

I kept asking him if he was nervous.


I kept asking him if he was afraid.


I kept asking him if he was worried.


It's not about me. It's about him.

And it's about time.


Susan said...

Oh, I hope he had a great first day. It is so hard growing up...I mean us..because it is a little bit about us too. I can't imagine how hard it must be to move into the land of having a middle schooler.

Belle said...

I remember all too well...wait until HIGH school!

kirida said...

I'm sure he just made tons of friends and he's too cool to share.

Amanda said...

Oh, mama. So hard to be strong. Good job.

Valarie said...

I just sent my first born off to her first college class today. :(

I wanted to go walk her in, but then I thought better of it. :)

painted maypole said...

oh. you're being very brave and stoic.

alice c said...

I sometimes wish that there was a uniform for parents. Especially on special occasions like First Day; Parents Evening and Carol Concerts.

Domestic Extraordinaire said...

How was his 1st day. I remember feeling that way last year. About the first day of Middle school and about what I was going to wear. LOL.

I was also laughing at the 4th baby comment. At least it is a human baby and not a 3 foot long crocodile.

Jen said...

I'm glad to read I'm not the only mother who picked out her first day of school outfit. Too funny!

I think middle school is tougher for girls than it is for boys. It sounds like your son is going to do great! :)

LindaJ said...

I'm not worried about him. He is smart,confident, well adjusted young boy, he will do fine. As for you.... lemonade and vodka, when will you listen?


Anonymous said...

Excellent summation, mi hija.

I loved the last 2 lines.


OHmommy said...

Oh Carrie. I could have written this. I am going to Kindergarten orientation tomorrow. Actually, I am not. My son is.

Perfect post.

Becky said...

aww this was written so beautifully!

Christy said...

I know what you mean with this one. There are so many times I find myself trying to put myself in my kids' places, but w/MY feelings or needs at their ages. We're different--they're different. "It's not about me" so true!

Aimee Greeblemonkey said...

Loved this post, Carrie! And I know I will be feeling the exact same way in a few years!!

Carrie said...

you're SO in my head, woman!

I'm freaking out about the parents' orientation meeting FOR PRESCHOOL tomorrow night. the same meeting I went to last year... so I KNOW what to expect.. yet...

the stress.

congrats on a successful venture into parenting the NEXT STAGE. here's to a good year!

Queen of the Mayhem said...

Can you repeat this mantra for me same time next year? Except...insert her...instead of him!

He is going to do great!!!!!

Kimmylyn said...

"I better not look like one of those moms who are trying to compete with her tweens friends, and that b) I better not look like a hot frumpy mess either."

Stated perfectly in my eyes..I struggle with this all the time..

And your son will do great..!!

Beth (A Mom's Life) said...

ACK!!!! Will you please get out of my head!

Great post!