On the last day of school, I have memories of leaping out of bed and tumbling out the door, ready for a day filled with the last of everything.
My children have not yet embraced this attitude.
Tyler decided that this would be the morning he would abandon every routine we’ve known all year long (and those are few, in the category of Mornings). He refused breakfast and getting dressed, and he chillaxed in his baggy jammy pants while I called out countdown warnings.
When it was time to go, he had still neither dressed nor eaten. I scooped his breakfast plate into the refrigerator, while he wailed over how hungry he was. I let the parenting gurus recite their mantras in my head about logical consequences and rational responses.
He threatened me with his nudity. “Fine. I’ll just go to school like this,” he said.
“You’ll sure be embarrassed then, won’t you?”
I had tossed an outfit in the car, ’cause I’m a softie like that. He conceded to my choices for his clothes. He acted as though that’s what he had in mind all along, as if getting dressed in the car is no big shake and he prefers it, actually.
Meanwhile, Tucker fumed in the backseat because I wouldn’t let him wear a baseball cap to his kindergarten graduation. He was insistent it wasn’t a baseball cap, since he doesn’t play baseball. I told him it’s the name of the style, not necessarily part of a uniform, and it wasn’t appropriate for an event like this.
(I had already conceded to his request to please not wear a ‘nice shirt’, or a ‘hang-up shirt’ as we call them. He begged and pleaded, promising me that he and his friends had made agreements to wear picture shirts to graduation. Fine, kiddo. This is your battle this morning? I give in. You get this one. Because you are the son who is getting dressed at all.)
(By the way, none of his friends wore picture shirts. They were all dressed in nice, hang-up shirts. My son crossed the stage in a basketball shirt and cutoff shorts. You win some, you lose some.)
Hey, guess what. It’s 3:56 pm. They each graduated today, both with clothes on and sans baseball caps.
Kindergarten and first grade, here we come.
(Rumor has it, BOTH of those are full-day programs. You can hear the chorus in my head.)
Congratulations, little grads. Even when you upturn my morning and take me to my ragged, harried edge, I still cheer you across the stage an hour later in your shining moment.
And I always will.