I’ve been that mom. The one that sent her kids to school on Pajama Day without realizing it was Pajama Day until we were in the parking lot and. saw. all. the. pajamas. At the end of the year, the Montessori school included a photo of Pajama Day in each kid’s scrapbook. There were all the kids in their cute pajamas. There were my kids in jeans and polos. Sigh. They were the only ones whose mom forgot.
I’ve been that mom. The one that pulled into the school dropoff line and noticed that every single kid hopping out was wearing a cowboy hat and… how is it possible that these many kids own overalls? Happy “Dress Like a Farmer Day!”?!?! I made a U-turn, flew into the house, grabbed an old straw hat, a plaid button down, and a round green pig from Angry Birds. There. You, my fresh kindergarten son just trying to fit into a new school, you are a Hipster Farmer. Have a great day! I love you. No, I swear. I adore you. I’m just forgetful. And you really do look like a farmer. Really.
If it comes home in the form of a memo stuffed into a folder of drawings and graded homework, I don’t see it. Or I do see it but it just doesn’t register.
Other than that, I’m sort of a spectacular mom. I just have this one big flaw.
My middle child started kindergarten this year. Two years behind his older brother, the epitome of the oldest child, the epitome of the Older Brother Shadow. Quinn sailed through kindergarten, winning every award, fighting off nudges to skip a grade. Or two. My middle child, Grey, is taking longer to find his place. He has to work a little harder and he places more value on his peer relationships, which is an adjustment for us. We try to be mindful of his need for things to flow, for friendships to gel, to fit in. We work hard to help him shine and make a big deal when he does.
It’s hard enough being the middle kid without your mom being forgetful, too.
This morning, just as I was opening his homework folder to double check we signed his green smiley face on Friday’s calendar square (green for good behavior), I heard his dad fly out of the playroom toward us in the kitchen. My eyes fell on the note just as his dad said, “Oh no. We forgot. Grey is Star Student of the Week this week!” And he would need a lot of… stuff. This morning. As in, ten minutes from now.
The Star Student of the Week is a big deal. Quinn had been Star Student and I remember we fussed over his materials for an entire weekend. The Star Student brings a letter from home about how awesome he is, which is read in front of the class, along with photos of him with family and friends. Later in the week, someone close to him comes in and reads his favorite book in front of the class.
I glared at the clock. Ten minutes separated me from once again being That Mom or, for once, being His Mom the way he deserved.
I shouted instructions at Quinn to finish all of the teeth brushing and hair combing as my husband and I hit my office at full steam. My husband started typing our “Grey IS totally awesome!” letter as I threw open my photo software. I had just edited a bunch of photos for our living room wall photo project (miracle of miracles, the angels did sing) and, honestly, could have hugged my computer as I hit “print.”
Now, you know that moment at the ATM machine between entering your PIN and the sound of the money counting out inside the machine? That “Please, please work!” moment? That’s how I felt as I waited for the sound of the printer to start printing the equivalent of proof that I love my son.
whir whir whir
Canon? I love you. All your PIXMA printer is missing is a “ding!” sound once photos are done printing. Because that’s how my heart felt. Ding!
In the time it took Quinn to help Grey and their little sister, Iris, brush their teeth and hair, their dad and I wrote an ode to our middle child and printed absolutely spectacular shots of his awesomeness to show off to his class.
The look on Grey’s face when I showed him the photos, solely made possible by our having a quality printer on hand (not at the drugstore, not online separating points “print” and “delivery” by days), the look could only be characterized as pride. Better yet, confidence.
I’ve been that mom. Today? Today I was the cool mom. The mom that makes the other moms wonder how she does it. The mom that makes her child feel like the brightest star in the sky.
Many thanks to Canon for sponsoring this post and for providing me with a brand new PIXMA printer to save the day… and my son’s self-esteem… and my heart. All at the last minute. All brilliantly… though let me know what we can do about adding that “ding!” sound.