No More Pencils, No More Books…

Seniors always finish the school year before the other students.

Always.

Somehow, though, Younger, despite conversations at home and celebrations at school, had not picked up on that one simple fact.

“You mean,” he launched immediately upon opening my truck door after school last Tuesday, “that today is Elder’s last day of school?”

Confused, I studied him, tilting my head to the side. “Yeah.”

“You’re telling me that he doesn’t have to go back tomorrow?” he continued, throwing his duffel bag over the seat into the back floorboard.

“Um, yeah.”

“And I don’t get done until Friday?” he demanded. Then he slumped in his seat, arms crossed over his chest. “How is that even fair?”

Elder may not be in a hurry to leave high school, but Younger, well, his senior year may be the only year he never prays for snow…

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Firsts…and Lasts

Today…

Elder graduates.

He played his last baseball game on Saturday.

We attended the last award ceremony this morning.

And tonight…he graduates.

So, today, I thought I would share a story from the night before his first day of kindergarten in 2002…

So, my baby started kindergarten last Thursday. I’m not exactly sure who told him he could. I’m not exactly sure why I allowed it. I’ve tried and tried to squish him back into a baby. But he squirms and asks, “You’re just joking, right, Mommy?” And I answer, “Right,” and squeeze a little harder. And still he grows.

Last Wednesday night, I sent him to bed a little early, wanting him to be well-rested for the next morning. Half an hour later, I stepped into the room, finding his eyes watching me as I tripped towards the bed.

“Too excited to sleep?” I asked, knowing the first day of school had always kept me awake the night before and promised to do so again.

He nodded enthusiastically. “I just can’t stop thinking about that Donkey Kong.”

I have a feeling school will be a lot harder for me than him…

The Straight Way

The other day, I waited in the school parking lot for Younger to emerge from the building. When he finally crossed the driveway to clamber into the truck, he said, “Hey, Mom, you ever seen Elder with straight hair?”

And then, before I could answer, through my open window drifted a familiar voice calling, “Mah-mah” — Elder’s version of “mom” after four years of French.

I glanced around to find Elder striding towards me, his hair as straight as a board across his forehead. Immediately alarmed, I demanded, “What did you do?”

“I straightened my hair,” he announced with a grin.

“What did you do?”

“Well, see, I had that presentation today as the scientist, and I had my suit and the bowtie and all, but some of the kids said the guy had straight hair.”

What did you do?”

“So, I let them straighten my hair.”

“What did –” I took a deep breath. “With what?”

“I don’t know. Some straightener thingie.”

“No chemicals?”

His eyebrows pulled together. “Hairspray.”

“Hairspray isn’t a — Wait a minute. You let these girls spray hairspray on your hair and you won’t let me buy you gel?”

“I objected. They did it anyway.”

“Is that the secret?”

But apparently I’m not one of those girls that will get away with doing it anyway.

“Smell.” He shoved his blonde head beneath my nose. “It’s the purple hairspray.”

His curls returned after his shower that night. I scrunched the strands just to be extra sure.

He objected.

But I did it anyway.

I guess I am one of those girls after all.

Just Too Good

Elder can run. He steals second base. Then he steals third. The other day, he even stole home. The other parents ask where he got his speed. My husband and I just shrug. Because we didn’t even know he had speed until he was at least in the third grade.

But Elder knew. He even tried to tell me way back in 2001 when he was five years old…

As we drove to church Sunday, Elder asked, “Mom, can you run faster than Big Friend?”

“Probably,” I answered, picturing the six- or seven-year-old son of Elder’s babysitter.

“I can run faster than Big Friend can,” Elder announced, with a happy satisfaction. “Sometimes, I’m just too good, aren’t I, Mom?”

Apparently modesty is just something Elder may never master…