Back to School & Such Tragedies

Still-Frame Memories

Well, it was a good run. Those first 4-5 days of school were nothing short of amazing! The kids got up on time, ate breakfast, brushed their teeth – they came home with unbridled enthusiasm for school as well as their teachers. We even seemed to handle the revolving door, that becomes our mornings; one leaves at 6:30 a.m., one at 7:20 and the other at 8:30 a.m. But we even aced that! Like I said, it was a good run.

Today, my middle child texted me from the bus. “Guess what we have on the bus now?” I thought it was something good. “Tacos?” I texted back. “Assigned seats” he replied. I could tell he didn’t think my text was funny because there were no laughing emojis, no “lol” – I’m hip on the lingo.

And the bus driver plays old-time Spanish music, that no one can understand!” To which I replied with my avatar emoji, “No Bueno” – again. Not funny.

By the time he got off the bus, he was in full blown jerk mode. Before I could even say hello, he was storming into the kitchen, backpack tossed on the floor, and reaching for the handle of the freezer. He was going for the ice cream. Can’t blame him. Ice cream does make everything better.

When I asked him what his seat assignment was, he said “5A, window seat.” — Oh cool! “If you were on a plane, that would be like, first class!” Completely ignoring me, he started his rant on the prison-like bus conditions, when the oldest walked in, mid-sentence about a fight on the bus.  “I’m talking! Don’t interrupt me!” screams the middle.

Not to be outdone, the youngest comes in, grabs the ice cream carton out of middle child’s hands because he “didn’t scoop fast enough” and began scooping her own. She then begins her tale of woe; her bestie fought with her over playground loyalty. I mean, if you go outside for lunch recess with your bestie, you don’t run off to play with someone else, even if your bestie didn’t want to go on the swings. I mean, c’mon!

What happened to my three happy, school-loving children I’d kissed goodbye this morning? This is only day FIVE! Day FIVE!

“I hate school!” “I hate the bus!” “I don’t want to talk to her!” – all three rehashing their terrible, horrible day, out loud, full drama mode…all three.

I want preschool back. I want crayons and naptime. I want the Mickey Mouse Club. Wait, what am I thinking? I don’t want any of that!

How ’bout a few years back…the boys in elementary and my little in pre-school. I want that picture…the one with all three kids laughing joyfully and tossing their hands in the air, during the Christmas photo shoot. Happy. No attitude. No drama.

But that’s not real life, is it? It’s only a still-frame memory.

I’m sure, if I really think back, that day too was filled with drama. “I don’t want to wear that” and “You can’t make me smile!” But I choose not to remember it that way. And the still-frame in my mind will remain blissfully unaware.

And even though, as I write this, I can hear my youngest yelling about her 1-minute reading assignment, my middle complaining about his homework packet, and my oldest, interrupting me every 2 minutes with a question…

I will remember this as if it were a still frame memory…once my blood pressure returns to normal, and my headache goes away, that is.


Written: 2017

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