I’ve been taking Kainoa to school for the past couple of weeks even though the other kids ride the school bus because he’s a mama’s boy and because I can. In the past this wasn’t an option because I had kids in the daycare I had to stick around for and this year, aside from the occasional friendly drop in, all of my daycare kids are before/after school.
And because I get the privilege of taking him to school, I also get to swing by my daughters lines and give them one last warm hug goodbye.
Except Laina doesn’t much appreciate my warm hugs.
“Will you stop coming to my line, it is embarrassing.”
“But I’m so nice!” I said.
“Your friends like me!” I said.
“I’m going to make you popular!!” I said.
“I don’t want to be popular.” She responded.
So I stopped going to her line because I was NOT going to be that mom who can’t take a hint and I was NOT going to get hurt feelings, because this embarrassing stage is to be expected. It’s not us…it’s them.
But then she became the STAR Student of the Week!!
The STAR Student of the Week gets to be line leader!
The STAR Student of the Week brings family photos to school!
The STAR Student of the Week gets to have lunch with a parent!
“But I don’t want to do the lunch thing,” she said, “You don’t need to come for that.”
I heard what she said. I did.
But did she mean it? Did she really? I couldn’t be so sure. Maybe she thinks she doesn’t want me to bring lunch to her, but she loves McDonalds. Certainly she would love to see me if I had a Happy Meal in hand to share with my little STAR!
No…no that would be not be enough. I was going to have to be better than that so that the kids in class would be all, “Laina! Your mom is the coolest! WE LOVE YOU!”
Bringing a Happy Meal to class for her would only make them jealous and annoyed that they didn’t get one.
So…CHEESEBURGERS FOR EVERYONE!
You get a cheeseburger, YOU get a cheeseburger, You over there with the nose picking problem…YOU GET A CHEESEBURGER!!!
I sat in her classroom and waited for the kids to return from recess with my bags of cheeseburgers in my lap.
Maybe this was a bad idea…
My heart was pounding.
Why am I doing this? Why do I constantly put myself in the position to utterly embarrass myself. I quickly texted my sister and she responded by said, “well at least you’re not wearing a Mrs. Claus outfit this time.” Which was true. I can always make things worse for myself.
And then the door swung open and there stood my STAR with the entire class lined up behind her. The look on her face was a mixture of panic and that face I only see when she’s about to burst into tears.
I smiled and held out my bags of cheeseburgers while willing her not to cry. OMG please don’t cry! She smiled politely and between clenched teeth asked when I would be leaving and the only thing that saved me in that moment from a lifetime of an icy cold shoulder, were the CHEERS coming from the rest of the class.
They saw the cheeseburgers. THEY LOVED ME!
My STAR student took it in stride.
The burgers were handed out and I tip toed back to my car and high tailed my Cool Mom butt back home.
I’ll admit I was nervous about the lashing I might receive when the bus pulled up…but when she walked through the door she looked at me and the first words out of her mouth were, “Mom, everyone was so happy!”
I breathed a huge sigh of relief and then she followed up with, “don’t ever do that again.”
And I heard what she said. I did.
But I’m not so sure she means it…