Today was Go to Junior High With Your Child day. It’s hard to describe the level of enthusiasm Kincade expressed when I told him I was going to spend my birthday with him at his school, but I’ll try: eyes rolling, mouth hanging open, slumping. “No! Seriously? Mom! You wouldn’t!”
I have developed a rather thick skin from having two teenagers who think I am essentially mentally retarded. So I went anyway, assuming that it’s Kincade’s job at this age to act embarrassed of me while secretly adoring me. As I sat at a lunch table with about 12 8th-grade boys, I discovered the reason there were shockingly few other parents hanging out: most parents were apparently more influenced than I by their children’s lack of enthusiasm about Parents’ Day.
Anyway, I got to experience first-hand how the kids tease my son about the big bag of veggies he eats (along with several sandwiches, which crack them up even more). And in addition to the flashback opportunity to hear 30 beginning trumpet players butcher “Greensleeves,” one at a time, I also got to experience . . . school lunch. Pizza, chocolate milk, canned fruit, cookies—but they did have a salad (that had a couple of pieces of spinach in it), and a baggie of broccoli, carrots, and cauliflower, so it was cool.
It could be worse, I guess. My kids asked what I was going to do tonight for my birthday, and I said, “I think we’re going out for all-you-can-eat crab.’” (I know, it’s not my usual thing, because I’m all about plant food—but it’s once a year, and what can I say—I grew up near the Chesapeake Bay!) My kids stared at me in astonishment, as if to say, “Who are you, and what have you done with our mother?”
I found out later they thought I’d said I was going to spend my birthday with “all-you-can-eat crap.” They were having a hard time bending their minds around the image of me pounding the Ding Dongs, Twinkies, soda, and potato chips from breakfast till bedtime.
But it’s a good day. Maybe even great. Even though I took it upon myself to ask a group of 9th grade cheerleaders if any of them “like” Kincade’s friend Jantzen, Kincade kept putting his arm through mine and laying his head on my shoulder and introducing me to his “peeps.” Doesn’t get any better than that.