One of the most startling and utterly jaw-dropping realizations I’ve ever had occurred just a week after my first son was born.
That’s when I realized that I was the Mommy.
Someone had asked me what he was crying for. I looked at them as if to say, “Don’t you know? Because I don’t know. Why would you think I would know?”
(Insert realization moment.)
“Oh, because I’m the Mommy.”
I was the Mommy and if I didn’t know, nobody knew. I was suddenly the one that was supposed to have the answers. If the doctor had a question he asked me. But, I didn’t have any answers. I was as knew to this as anyone. It was terrifying.
Six years later and we did kindergarten orientation today.
I have vague memories of sitting in the middle of an orange and green baby quilt stacking blocks on the floor, stacking them again, and again and mentally tallying the time until this moment, when I would not have to stack blocks ad infinitum anymore. It seemed an eternity away. I would be old for sure. I’d probably have grey hair. I certainly wouldn’t have any more kids.
And now I’m sitting at a cafeteria table eating a PTA spaghetti lunch with my three kids, feeding the baby bits of garlic bread in his stroller, and watching the other kids in my son’s class who may or may not be our new best friends. I watch the boy who’ll be sitting across from my son. I watch the kids who are nervous and sit close to their parents, the ones who are running around with kids they already know from the neighborhood.
And I’m watching his teacher out of the corner of my eye. And, suddenly, there’s so much I want to tell her.
Should I tell her that he wears an eye patch in the afternoon to help strengthen his vision? Does she need to know he has trouble reading small letters? He is gentle with small kids and girls, but incredibly rough with boys his own size. He likes to teach other kids. Does she need to know we did some transitional kindergarten last year, but he’s never been to preschool? He likes poetry. He stews on ideas slowly, his questions come days later. Maybe she’d like to know he can read already, but writes all his letters backwards. Does she need to know how long he needs to finish a project, how he’s a boy with a vision? Should I warn her about the lengths he goes in order to get a laugh?
And I realize that I know everything there is to know about this boy. Gradually, and, yes, somehow all of a sudden, I am the Mommy with all the answers.
How did that happen? I wouldn’t say I feel like I know what I’m doing. I would even say my children are still massive little mysteries to me. But, at some point, I must’ve figured this kid out.
And now, it’s time. I’m going to let someone else figure him out, too.