Monday, July 18, 2011

Manning Up

So I signed Grayson up for camp. It was a real coup if you ask him. Every time someone would even think about camp he'd explode into hot tears and jazz arms. Mommy Theme Camp was okay until we woke up one morning to choose our theme and the pieces of paper all came up blank. Literally with nothing on them. Water or condensation from our AC must've blurred the magic marker so much that we wound up with a bowl of pretty stationary for mice instead of a clue to help shape our day filled with seventy thousand million hours.

We three entered the new building with all new faces and not once did he let go of my hand. Not once did I let go of his. I could almost smell the trepidation lifting off his little bedhead hair but he trusted me. We found a registration desk.

"We pre-registered online, can you tell us where to go? I ask the nice lady with hazy blue eyes.

"Yes, in this room here," she motions to the auditorium. We walk in together, weaving around a slew of people all going in every possible direction. Each looked happy, content, and not at all lost like we were. Rows of big kids, rows of small kids, women with name tags reaching out to hug their friends. Everyone knew each other but us. We didn't know a soul and it was becoming increasingly clear that I could not figure out the system under which this place was obviously working. I couldn't crack their camp code and my hands felt warm and clenchy in my children's. We were going down together in this mother and that was a fact.

"Mommy?" Grayson chimes in the way he does when I'm about to make a U-turn in the car. "Are we lost?"

"Ummm, I think we have to go in another room, Bud, this one's crazy busy."

"You don't know where my school is, do you, Mom?" Ouch. He was totally right. I had no idea.

"C'mon Guys, let's try another room," I say as I steer us out into the hallway to recalibrate. I'm near the front door and all want to do is swan dive toward it to the safety of our minivan and go home. We will make new daily themes. How about Movie Day Monday? Try Again Tuesday?

But we don't go out the front door. I put on my big girl undies and we traipse up and down two more hallways until we find the preschool registration desk. The desk that actually had my name listed as the student instead of his. If I believed in bad omens, you bet your honeypot I'd be sprinting toward the Exit ramp.

We signed in, walked in to his new classroom and stood quietly on the sidelines watching as a dozen children at least a foot smaller than Grayson chased each other around the room. They all seemed to know one another, just like in the auditorium. Not one teacher in sight. Minutes tick by until finally I make eye contact with a girl in an apron.

"Hi, we're new here. This is Grayson who does not know anyone so may I hang out for a minute while he takes it all in?"

She said it was fine and yes the kids mostly knew each other from preschool. Oh such an unfair advantage for the home team. How desperately I wanted to helivac my boy out of there so he wouldn't be faced with such newness right out of the gate.

"Okay Honey," I squeaked. "Time for your sister and I to go but I'll be in the next room over having tea," I lied. There was a tea offered somewhere in that bloody building but my bat senses knew it was not next door. Probably you had to take a tunnel. And a ferry.

Grayson's little pale face went paler. He inched closer to me while we attempted to leave. He didn't look up at me and that right there was the only possible reason I did not scoop him into my arms and run like spooked cheetah prey out of that place. Any silent eye beckoning on his part would've been met with me airlifting him immediately.

Instead I kissed him on the top of his scared little head and promised to return in a few minutes. Which we did. And he was fine. Jumping up and down even. Engaged with the rest of the class even. Singing words to a new song he and his new friends just learned even.

Looks like my gentle lamb of a boy is manning up.

He has a lot to teach his neurotic scaredy cat of a mom, that's for sure.


JRitz said...

I know that feeling - I still get that way even as an adult.

Way to go Grayson - here’s too many more new adventures.

OSMA said...

Isn't it awful to hit that flee button even as an adult?

Thanks for cheering him on too; I am just so proud of him.