I Want My Son to Cry on the First Day of School

Today is the first day of school. It’s insanely early in the summer, but that’s LA for you. We’ve gotta be different. My third grader is totally ready. He packed his slide rule just in case he needs it. My kindergartner has been waiting for this day since he was old enough to march through those halls walking his older brothers into class. My middle son, my serious albeit delicious middle son, is not a happy camper.

M spent the summer at skateboarding camp. He learned how to drop in a bowl, grind a rail, and do a kick flip. M wants nothing to do with school. But, I’m his mother and I want the best for him. Sadly, a second grade education (even if the phenom does go pro) isn’t going to cut it. So, I bought him a great Shaun White shirt at Target and a new pair of skater shorts for the first day of school. He put on a brave face.

All of the kids lined up for morning assembly and that’s when said middle son lost it. He looked up at me and said “all I want to do is skateboard. Get me out of here.” Try having a logical conversation with a perfectly pissed off newly minted second grader. It’s impossible. Particularly when both of his brothers are on equal sides of me vying for attention.

I held his hand and let him bury his head in my lap. “All I wanna do is skate.” Here’s the thing about my middle son, he never verbalizes his feelings. Seriously. Friends of mine call him “emo kid” because the little man will never let you know what he’s thinking. He will constantly complain that he’s bored even if it looks like he is having fun. When we go on vacation, the first thing he asks is if he can go home. He hates sleepovers at his grandparents house because “I just want to be home.” He could skate until he’s blue in the face and still complain that he’s bored and “can we leave?” Before skateboarding camp each morning, he would say that he changed his mind or feign illness so that he could stay home.

So, when he told me that he wants to be skating, I was thrilled. Little dude is actually passionate about something! There is something that exists in this world that he really and truly enjoys. When he grabbed onto me and cried as all of the other second graders shuffled into class, I was ecstatic. M does have feelings. M does care. I know that he’ll stop crying and adjust to the routine of school. But it’s like the Lion finding his heart. M may seem emotionally detached, but he really does care. And as a mom, I couldn’t be prouder.


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