Thanks, I Needed That
I apologize for being so scarce here at Blogs Are Stupid, and also for being remiss in my commenting.
That last week of school is a KILLER. And it was all compounded by the fact that Pubescent One's first Allstar tournament started that week. There was a baseball game or baseball practice every single night.
So anyway...today I want to talk about validation.
You know, everybody says that the second kid is easier because you've made all the mistakes with the first one. They say parenting gets easier with time. Blah, blah, blah, insert trite snippet of wisdom here.
It's not true. None of it. It's always a guessing game.
Because when you do something right, there is no fanfare, no neon sign, no points on a scoreboard. There is no certificate of merit for parenting. There are no VIP's or MVP's. You just have to go with your gut and then have faith that something you did worked.
But sometimes, something happens and you know. It's a rare gift.
I was given such a gift this week amid all the craziness. I sat in a darkened classroom with tears streaming down my face as I realized...I did something right. I made a difference for the better in the life of my youngest son.
One of my co-room parents put together a wonderful movie starring the class, made up of all the special moments that occurred in and out of the classroom throughout the year. It was beautifully done, with captions and graphics and inspiring music.
There were candid photographs, interviews with the kids and video footage of them all in ungaurded moments, being free and exuberant and silly in the way only kids can.
It was beautiful and bittersweet. I doubt there was a single parent watching who didn't feel wistful for those days; sad realizing they are long past, but glad that our children are living them with as much joy as we did once.
For the end of year party, we popped popcorn, drank sodas from bottles and ate star shaped cookies while the movie played.
Every child, without exception, hid their face whenever they appeared on the screen. They ribbed one another good naturedly, and giggled unabashedly. They tossed popcorn at one another while the girls sniffled melodramtically and the boys looked at them agog, wondering what on earth had prompted such a display.
Near the end of the movie, there was a lengthy segment on Field Day. Field Day is a HUGE deal at Diminutive One's school, and a huge undertaking. It lasts all day. It's messy, chaotic, exhausting, and...a hell of a lot of fun.
Now, you may remember that due to a MINOR behavior incident, Diminutive One had his Field Day privilege taken away, in addition to several other consequences. Husband and I both felt the consequences were far more severe than warranted and lobbied successfully to have his Field Day privileges restored.
Watching that movie, and seeing my son's beaming face as he scooted, hopped, skipped, drenched, raced, rolicked and ran....
I have never been so goddamned glad to have fought for anything in my whole life.
He would have been absent from this portion of the movie had he not participated. It would have been a glaring omission that would have served as a lifelong reminder of his humiliation and injustice.
I did something right. And here was proof positive, on a big silver screen, with the smell of popcorn wafting through the air and giggles ringing in my ears.
I was crying, but I didn't even realize it until one of the other Moms leaned over and said in a tremulous voice "I know...it's so amazing, isn't it? I can't believe she did all that." and then she sniffed loudly and dabbed at her eyes.
She had no idea how amazing it really was.
This was more than a movie. This...this was my validation.
My ceritificate of merit.
My neon sign.
Thanks. I needed that.
I'm going to clear my reader, because there is no way I'll ever catch up. But I hope to be more present in the coming weeks. Did I mention our neighborhood pool now has Wi-fi? Sa-weet.