Today was the first day of school for my kids Lindsay and Sam starting eleventh grade.
That’s a big deal. But it wasn’t a big deal. It was a broken deal. I thought we had a deal that we would all be back inside school, and here we are getting ready for the first day without the normal traditions. No new outfits to wear, no new backpacks overflowing with new books, pencils and papers.
I was mourning the fact that this one was my last first. My last photo-op of the two of them heading out the door, “first day of middle school,” “first day of 8th grade,” “high school here we come.” Next year they’ll be seniors, probably driving themselves to school and leaving me in their dust.
Today, spirits were low. How could I help them navigate this unprecedented time?
Usually, Lindsay bounds out of bed trying on multiple outfits before deciding on the perfect one. While Sam waits until the very last minute to rise.
“Hurry up! We’re going to be late!” I chimed.
At 8:30, Amazon’s Alexa sounded our school bell.
I could hear their computers starting, then I heard something I had never heard before.
I perked up.
“Good morning students.”
What? I thought. What is this? I’ve only been allowed to drop them off curbside, never a fly on the wall.
I stood right in between their two rooms and listened to the pre-roll call chatter.
“Lindsay how are you?” asked one student.
“Hi! I’m good.” She replied.
“Lindsay is that a new shirt?”
Some things never change.
Lindsay replied, “Yes, do you like it?”
Then another voice and another. I could feel her easing into this weird first day.
I had an idea.
As her Spanish class was getting started, I jumped into Mom-mode.
“Hola senorita Lindsay.”
“What are you doing?” she scowled.
“Let’s learn Spanish together. We can be a class,” I said.
“Let’s not,” Lindsay waved me off.
On Sam’s side, his biology class had already begun. I listened intently while his teacher asked difficult questions.
“Sam. Sam,” I whispered.
“You know these answers, raise your hand. Go on, it’s good to let the teacher know who you are right from the start.”
There was silence on the Zoom call. Sam glared at me and held up a handwritten note that read, “NOT ON MUTE”.
His teacher responded, “Thank you, Sam’s mother, for your important input.”
“Oops.” I started to leave, but not before raising my hand, “I know this answer. It’s…”
“Sorry, I couldn’t help myself.” I backed away.
I had already memorized Lindsay’s schedule, so I knew her gym class was up next. I came prepared. This will be a great time for us to work out together.
I hopped into her room looking so cute: an exact replica of Olivia Newton-John wearing a hot pink headband, matching leg warmers and a workout suit.
“Let’s get physical, physical. Let me hear your body talk.” I gyrated.
“Is that your mom?” someone from inside her computer asked.
Horrified, Lindsay glared, “Mom, you have got to be kidding. Personal space.”
“We’re done.” Both kids exited their respective rooms.
“What do you mean? For nutrition?” I asked.
“No school for today.”
I protested, “It’s only 10:30!”
Sam beamed, “I know, isn’t it great?”
“What’s tomorrow’s agenda?”
They answered together, “NOTHING!”
Lindsay took charge, “We need to have a chat about rules and boundaries.”
I put my palm up, “talk to the hand, sistah.”
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