Wednesday, May 27, 2009

This Is What Happened Today

Today I went to my son's 6th grade graduation and was surprised to get tears in my eyes during the final slide show. After all, I had been to my daughter's 3rd grade graduation/slide show earlier and remained unmoved throughout.

It's not what you think. I don't care about getting old, having a son old enough to graduate from 6th grade, miss him as a baby, or wonder how and why it has gone by so quickly. In fact, I enjoy aging, think Sam is more fun and interesting the older he gets, don't care for babies, and it actually seems like a long time ago that he was born.

But remember how awesome 6th grade is? How you "rule the school"? In the slide show kids were dancing funny, wearing cool clothes, laughing, and generally acting like the teenagers they are about to become. They have no idea what's ahead of them. Jr. high isn't all that bad, but there's certainly no playgrounds there. Those kids struck me as wonderfully naive. And every year from here on out they will get less and less and less naive. It's sad. But they're excited and it will be OK.

After my reverie we were out to the parking lot to load up and go home. Ben, my 6 year old, bumped the car next to us with his door. Yes, yes, I know this is horrible. The owner of the car was going nuts with anxiety and hand signals to me trying to convey what happened. Dude! I know what happened. It happens all the time, like every day--either to me or because of me.

So I go over to the lady's window to deal with the incident, as I'm sure she will always remember it. There was a little white mark which I wiped off with my finger and no dent. But I don't shirk responsibility so I said sorry and all that and asked her nicely (I mean, I'm a jerk--but I'm a two-faced jerk) what she wanted me to do because she just really seemed like she wanted me to do something, besides wiping it off with my sweat finger. And yet, there was no further repair work to be done. She was frustrated. I can't say I blame her. Kids are frustrating. She finally exclaimed, "Well just tell him to be more careful!"

So, is what I'm going to do is: First--Tell Ben to be more careful. Second--Sit back and enjoy how wonderful everything is going to be after I tell him to be more careful.

And I spent the rest of the day opening otter pops. So there you have it.


  1. So glad you covered yourself by telling him to be careful! What a weird childless person (probably).

    I look back longingly sometimes at the joy of 6th grade. Our kids vs teachers baseball game was the first one where the kids won and likely the last. We rocked!

  2. I miss naivety. It seems like eons ago.

  3. Good post. Loved every word.

  4. 1) I hated 5th grade graduation (middle school here starts in 6th) It was THE most tortuous event of my entire mothering-elementary-school-kids career. How many slides can we see of girls hugging each other and boys making goofy faces? (Answer:2 hours worth!)

    2) if you had a minivan that wouldn't happen.

    3) The older my kids get them more I like them too. I'm kind of looking forward to the teenage years.

  5. Oh man...6th grade by far was my favorite year in school. Couldn't agree with you more about the post.

    BTW- I voted for your blog through Underdogs Unite (under Jasahab). If you get a chance please vote for me too! We are running for four different categories. Here is one of the links:

    Thanks so much!


  6. The only thing I remember about 6th grade was that "Sixteen Candles" came out that year and was scandalous. I remember when Sam was born - or getting the phone call at least. Of course, it was my prophecy coming true...

  7. My favorite line:
    So, is what I'm going to do is...

    reminds me of a lot of Utahns I know.

  8. Atticus gets more enjoyable the older he gets too. I love it.

    WV: ampontam Sounds like tampon in Pig Latin to me.

  9. Oh I do that all the time. I am not meant to have a nice car...and people with nice cars should really stay away from me altogether.

  10. That car lady is mean and awful, and I can't believe how well-adjusted you are because 1)her freaked outness would have made me cry and 2)today I cried a little as I looked through all of Holden's end-of-first-grade papers. But I was mainly crying because several times he mentions that he is going to "blow up Jacob" or that he would like to get "punched to Mars." Why so violent, I wonder? You should get your kids and your otter pops and high-tail it up to Rexburg so we can be together this summer.

  11. Wouldn't it be nice if we could hang on to our childhood innocence and sense of adventure? Hopefully I still have a modicum of that left. So many precious memories, it seems like a lifetime away now. Sixth grade happened to be my favorite grade as well. It must be a popular pre-coming of age year. I always thought it was just the teacher. Or... or maybe the cool teachers know to teach the sixth grade because they know that's the best year.

  12. Your husband knows a of a little place on line where you can get convenient little business-sized cards to give that lady in just such a situation...

  13. I could not wait to get out of sixth grade. I was the kid they liked to pick on. My time was Jr. high school.

    Do you just open the Otter Pops or do partake in them as well?

  14. I've spent entire afternoons opening otter pops as well. It could be the cause of my carpal tunnel syndrome...

  15. Anonymous3:06 PM

    The story of motherhood, who wouldn't want to sign up for the role?

  16. This is why we drive an oh, so lovely 1998 Dodge Caravan and park at the far end of every parking lot. I figure my 4 kids need a bit of exercise and plus it's hard to park a minivan in between two parked cars. I do not have to worry a lick about my car and the people with nice cars are far, far away. I'm actually dreading buying a new car someday for fear that I will become that meany lady who shouts at little kids for scratching her car. Heaven help us!


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