I entered the stylish and massive building juggling too many things in my hands and mind to see an ocean of back-packs, colored hair, attitudes and droplets of teenage body odor. Kids in tow, we weaved our way through the sticky crowds of aprehensive and exuberant cliques down the main hall.
My 17 year old grade 12 son stood ram-rod straight with a deer-caught-in-headlights look trying to figure out the way to his first new class while my 15 year old grimaced at the bouncy kids with beards, model-bodies and too much energy.
First day again….
I turned to address my oldest when I realized he was gone…well not gone…..just not there. Beside me was this…guy, this super tall, rather handsome guy with fuzz on his mature, Intelligent face and a glean of I-got-this in his eyes. What the hell! Where did my insecure, complainy, indesicive, sweet, supportive little dude go who was afraid of balloons and hated daycare. Gone. This guy, who I wanted to believe was an imposter, stood there and said bye Mom to disappear into the mass of other imposters.
My chest ever so slightly suffocating me, I darted further down the hall with my youngest, my baby, who would surely still be my baby when we got to his room. Different with this one you see. This one has trouble with his vision, a tube running from his head to his stomach, doesn’t so much like other children and a few other things that make it so the umbilical cord stays connected and resistant to growth.
Or so I thought!
Slam! He chats with his teachers and other students. Slam! He uses his locker without a problem and says ‘cool when teacher says they are going right to Science class. Slam! He buttoned his shirt on his own this morning which I completely put out of my mind for fear of having to accept that he too was an imposter! Not the mom-i-need-you-for-every-single-thing, not the tiny, sickly , dont touch me, dont be more than 2 inches away from me boy that I need to protect, coddle and teach. He has been replaced too! A 15 year old, devilishly adorable, girl-crazy, walking hormone with independence and social skills and a buttoned-up shirt
I have to leave. The crazy lady with a neurotic look and trembling hands raises suspicion in a hallway when kids are in class. Though I bet other parents would know the look and offer me a wake-up slap or a glass of wine. I could sure use both.
Walking to the truck I feel like partying. What do you mean I will not hear the word “Mom” for 3 hours? (It’s a half day). I am free, i can…..i can…..hah! I don’t kid myself. I will catch up on housework, look at my textbooks for courses I have 2 months to finish that I’ve barely started, walk my giant hippo dogs that will trade slobber for expensive stinky treats and probably cry a bit.
At 3:20 I will pick up my scrapping,bickering, needy, hungry, amazing, loving, super star teens and they will be normal again….at least in my mind they will be. But the imposters are still there, each day growing stronger until my little babies will only be in pictures, memories, hugs, and moments when they need me.
The first day again.