Monday, August 11, 2008

Between a Rock and a Cool Place

Ahhh, The first day of school! The kids were excited to wear their new outfits and carry their new backpacks. The thought of the snacks I had set aside for only school lunches was enough to get Brynna out of bed without a squabble. As sad as it it is to admit my kids have only eaten "baby" carrots and never realized that carrots could grow well over two inches long. Now that Brynna has made this discovery, she packed the biggest carrot she could find in her lunch, minus the plumage. Such simple pleasures.
They were dressed and ready before breakfast was on the table. Jace looked the part of a young skater (Hurley shirt, plaid shorts and slip on shoes) and Brynna went back with her Punky Brewster mismatched style (brown monkey shirt, green and ivory floral pants, and orange floral print shoes). I took the first day of school picture outside the front door like always and put the camera in the stroller for the photo ops at school. "You can take Brynna's picture at school but not mine", Jace commented. Fair enough, I got my picture and I don't want to embarrass him with making him strike a pose at his classroom door.
The kid's school is about a 3 blocks from our house which made it easy for the entire family to walk over and witness the festivities. We dropped Brynna off first, did pictures, she found her BFF and was running toward the playground before even saying good-bye. Next our brood headed to Jace's classroom, which was locked so we went to the playground where his new class was already lined up. I assumed that he would saunter off in his I'm-too-cool-for-life way and join his buds but he stood there for a minute. "You want us to walk you over", I asked. "No", he replied. "Well, maybe Dad could."
What??!!?? When did I become that uncool? When did Brian rank over me? I bit my tongue and stood on the sidelines with the youngest three and watched as Brian walked over with him and just stood with him at the back of the line. The whole time I'm thinking, "Why is he just standing there? I would go up and introduce myself and Jace to the teacher. The teacher doesn't even know Jace joined the line. What is he doing? He's not even making conversation with the kids surrounding them. If only Jace had asked me..." Then it dawned on me, maybe it's cool just to be there with him. Jace seems pleased just standing there with his dad not speaking. Could it be that I talk too much? Humbling.
This afternoon I walked in 100 degree heat to meet the kids at school, because this morning at breakfast they asked me to. Go figure I was late; Vance was fussy so I was packin' him while trying to do some computer work, Keely was naked, and Ryleigh was spitting on the floor while she was being punished with a timeout. I knew leaving the house I would be late but I wanted to do it, I didn't want to disappoint and I wanted to try the skill of just being. I did make it 3/4 of the way to the school when Jace came running full speed toward me and talking just as fast. As we waited for Brynna he talked about how great his outfit was , how people didn't recognize him with short hair, how he doesn't have any friends in class that are guys, and how nice his teacher was. He saw some friends a few times along the way and would run up to talk with them but then he would let them go on ahead and he'd wait for us continuing his conversation where he left off. I just let him talk and was just there. I know that my time of on the sidelines will become even more frequent as time progresses but I guess I don't mind not being cool as long as I can be his rock.

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