*photo of The Boy, getting ready for his first day of school.
Here he is, getting ready to start his first day of junior high. He looks so big – and although he was smiling, I know he was nervous. Do you remember junior high? For me, it was the worst two years of my life. I wouldn’t go back to 7th grade for a zillion dollars. It makes me shudder to even think about it! In my kids’ school, the junior high kids go to the same building as the high school kids. So it’s a big change for them from elementary school, and The Boy was afraid of getting lost and not making it to his classes on time.
He had to start off the day by carrying his heavy backpack with all of his school supplies, along with his giant duffel bag filled with his football and PE equipment. I’m sure carrying 40 pounds of stuff made his trip to the bus stop fun.
His first task of the day was to take his school registration fees, lunch money, and sports physical form to the office. I put all of them in an envelope for him and told him not to lose it. He placed that envelope in his agenda book and was supposed to take it to the ladies at the office first thing. Only, when he got to school and unpacked his backpack, he couldn’t find it. Which meant that he couldn’t play football. Or eat hot lunch. Good thing he brought a sack lunch yesterday, huh?
So then, he went to the locker room to put his football helmet and pads into a spare locker. After he shut the door, he realized that he couldn’t open the locker back up. Something must have been jammed in the door. He asked the PE teacher to help him open it, but he couldn’t get it open either. So… no lunch money, no sports physical and no football equipment.
And then… he realized that he left his duffel bag (which had his gym clothes in it) in the gym. When he went back to get it, it was gone. No lunch money, no sports physical, not football equipment, and now no duffel bag, which meant no gym clothes, which meant no gym.
Poor kid! What a day! He had no clue where the lost and found is. He didn’t quite know what to say if he were to go into the office. He knew he couldn’t go to football practice without the sports physical, so he just rode the bus home. The Husband was working from home and was surprised to see a very upset little guy.
Here’s where I’m going to get all contemplative on you. I am so thankful that The Husband was home. Because… he was there to see how upset The Boy was, and he called me to tell me about it. Now I’m not sure if his intentions were to warn me about the situation so that I didn’t fly off the handle when I got home and found out he’d lost his papers and the $100 worth of checks I’d sent to school. The Husband probably wouldn’t have admit to calling me ahead of time so that I’d cool down before I actually saw The Boy. But after all these years, of course he knows me, so I think he was trying to preempt a freak out. And now it’s confession time: I can be a serious hothead. I
It’s not my best trait. In fact, it’s probably my worst parenting trait. My kids are used to me flipping out about stuff like this, but that doesn’t really make it ok.
The Boy didn’t need my freak out after his horrible day yesterday. He needed someone to calm his nerves and tell him that everything was going to be ok. The Husband was able to do that, and tactfully prevent me from going all army commander on him. After school, they went on an errand together – a manly bonding experience where they bought The Boy a jock for football. I don’t really know what kind of conversation they had, but whatever it was, it made The Boy feel a lot better.
For homework last night, The Boy had to do a worksheet that told one of his teachers about his life and interests. One of the questions was “Who is someone you admire and why?”
His answer: “My dad because he helps me feel better when I’m having a bad day.”
I don’t tell The Husband this often enough (another of my not so great traits) but I think he does a great job with the kids, especially in situations like this one.
Update: Hollywood drove The Boy to school early this morning so they could go to the office together. Someone had turned in his envelope with the checks and sports physical there, and the duffel bag was found. No word on the football locker yet, but it sounds like today is going much better for my not-so-little guy.