So tonight, was my son’s open house for his 8th grade classes. As I walked through the door to what used to be my old high school, I was comforted by the “Welcome” that took place in the auditorium; the same auditorium where I’d played the part of Annie, in the musical production of Annie as a sophomore, and where I’d played Sandy in the musical Grease as a senior. I was comforted by those old wooden chairs, the stage, the piano…all looking just as they did when I went to this school. And now I was here as a mom.
This school was my 2nd home for four years. I’d done drama and choir here, ran the school store, and ran for office. I met my first love within these walls. I’d run through the halls from class to class, like it was second nature. I knew every inch of this school.
After the welcome, we were sent along our way to our child’s homeroom. There, we were get our child’s schedule and go from class to class, floor to floor, and get a glimpse into what the students would be doing this year.
Not a problem. This was my old high school. I got this.
Wait, where is room 247? Is this it? Let me check every…single…door… along the hallway because apparently, I can’t follow arrows, and for someone who went to this school, it seems way more difficult now. Since when have they had stairs leading up and down both sides, veering off in 4 different directions, all for the same floor. It’s like a sick maze that you can only escape by flailing your arms, holding the schedule high over your head, until one of the students, obviously part of the Student Council I suspect, walks over while rolling their eyes, and points. “That way Ma’am” – yah, thanks for that!
When I finally made it to my son’s homeroom, I was sweating. Is it me? Am I seriously going through the change right now?! No, it wasn’t just me. There was a line of moms waiting in the hallway, fanning themselves and wiping their brow. It was hotter than hell in here. Hot in the hallway, hot in the classrooms. Hot. All over. Hot. Why, on God’s green earth, do they not have AIR CONDITIONING? I lost 5 lbs. going from History to Math! I joined the others, stood outside the classroom, fanning myself with a piece of paper.
Once inside the classroom, we got to squeeze our adult bodies into those chair/desk combinations. Nobody can fit in those! I tried to sit sideways and lost feeling in my legs.
We had 15 minutes in the classrooms to learn about the upcoming year, and 2 minutes from class to class. 6 classes. Why did we have to do this? We already went to school. Bad enough we did it the first time. Sitting there, listening to the teachers, I was thrilled to be an adult. The thought of reading The Diary of Anne Frank and To Kill a Mockingbird again…no thank you. And Science, History and Math? I was having a panic attack just reading the syllabus. Yet here we were.
Every class had an online classroom, text message reminders and online text books. There was so much to remember. I found myself taking notes. Ever the over achiever, I was taking notes during an open house!
When the bell rang, I felt a wave of excitement. School’s out! The open house is over! I can go back home now. To my adult home. Get in my adult car. Drive fast. Talk on my phone.
Until tomorrow night. Open House #2. God help me.
Written September, 2017