Last night was Back to School Night for the middle school. M loves middle school. She is delighted to go each morning. Even better, she is unbelievably motivated about homework and studying right now, which is wonderful, because in the past she’s been rather blasÃ© about grades. She did pretty well with minimal effort and was too content with “pretty well” to work hard (unlike her sister–and mother–who struggle to correct or cope with their imperfections on a daily basis). She’s even hell-bent on being the fastest runner in gym class (and yes, she is). She’s naturally competitive, and she’s kicked herself into high gear to conquer All Things Middle School. The effort itself is gratifying to witness.
Unfortunately, she is tethered to an embarrassing mother who managed, in the course of a 15-minute Back-to-School class time allotment, to brush up against a desk knick-knack in one of her teachers’ rooms. Not just any teacher, and not the favorite teacher (because “I can’t pick a favorite! They’re all really good!), but the teacher whom she seems most keen to impress. That’s right, I knocked the item off of his desk and onto the floor where it broke into three separate pieces. This, at the beginning of the 15-minute mini-class, and at a location as far away from the actual teacher as it was possible to be, so that he didn’t notice and I couldn’t tell him immediately.Â I spent the next 15 minutes fretting about making my confession.
He was very nice about it.
M, less so.
“WHAT?!? Oh, my gosh, Mom! You’re kidding!! PLEASE tell me you’re joking! This is SO BAD.”
“I still can’t believe it. Oh, it’s so terrible. How could that happen? He’s going to hate me now. And I was doing so well.”
“Mom, were you possibly making the whole thing up? Because it would be really great, if that didn’t actually happen.”
[And more along the same lines, ad nauseam.]
And by “ad nauseam” I literally mean until I felt sick to my stomach. But what can you do? Like I said to M, I can’t change what happened, and I couldn’t just slink away. Better to ‘fess up and apologize. I told her that I’d offered to take it home and Krazy Glue it and send it back to him with M, but he waved me off. So this morning, she packed the Krazy Glue and carefully enclosed a note:
I am so sorry about my mother’s actions.
Please enjoy this krazy glue.
She is all the more impressive for rising above the circumstances of her birth.
I’m kidding that her family’s such a problem of course, but come to think of it, she did do some serious rising,Â because when M was born she spent time in the neo-natal intensive care unit because of meconium aspiration. I just saw this article about the health benefits of giving parents more control in the NICU, and of course it reminded me of our experience there, where we were not in control at all. Here’s hoping that all the NICU parents have the opportunity to hold their babies and see them conquer middle school and beyond.