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30 going on 13

Ahhh, The Girl. At some point, I think, most mothers realize that their little darlings can either be sweet, angelic, “you’ll always be my little girl” babies or the battitude sportin’ “when did 8 become the new 13” pains in the you-know-whats. I wonder, though, how many see this in a span of less than a minute…

The Girl and Boy Genius both started at a new school here a week ago Monday. They’ve been wanting me to come eat lunch with them in the cafeteria (ugh, lunchroom flashbacks, no we can bring food in!). This is definitely something that only younger children would care about. I mean, how many teenagers actually want their parents to show up at school, which would only ruin their “I’m all alone in the world” facade, much less sit and eat with them in front of all their friends and enemies? I had told them I would come today, it being a Friday and The Girl’s birthday tomorrow, I thought today would be a good day. Well…

This morning it was one thing after another (I know you know what I mean without the need for further explanation). Just when I thought I’d had enough, The Girl came out of her room, still in her pjs mind you, whining about not having anything to wear. At this point, I should acknowledge that I have been known to cry the same thing despite a full closet, but I digress. I stomped (forgive me, downstairs neighbors) to her closet, snatched a pair of pants and tossed them to the floor at her feet (I wonder where she gets the attitude?). Whining continued, something about how she’d freeze to death in them when she sat down on the playground, and why hadn’t I washed any of her jeans, and why don’t I ever listen to her, and she didn’t like those pants, and, oh in case I didn’t hear, she’d freeeeeeeeze to deeeeeaaaathhh in them. I said, as calmly as possible (not!), “just get dressed so I can take you to school and not have to talk to you about your pants until you get home.” Here come the tears…

“But I thought you were coming to eat lunch with us?” Now Boy Genius, who’d up to this point been rather cleverly staying as far away from the two crazed females in the room, decided it was time to speak up. “Yeah, mommy, you promised!” Did I? I can’t remember anymore. I must say I was completely shocked. When I’m really mad at someone (which quite strangely rarely happens anymore), I certainly don’t want to have lunch with them; honestly, I’d rather not see them for awhile. But not my Girl. Underneath the attitude, behind the “I’m growing up faster than you want me to whether you like it or not” face, she’s still my little girl…at least for a little while longer.

So at thirty-something, I’ll be eating lunch (at 10:30, it’s more like brunch) in an elementary school cafeteria, enjoying the smells of stale food and children, talking about which ones aren’t very nice and which ones are friends; and, maybe if I’m really lucky, I might even get introduced. Thank God; I wouldn’t miss it for the world.

Published inChildrenOriginal Blog

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