The Year My Parents Were My Playmates
Drop the mic, kid. It’s time for in-person learning. I’m not allowed to walk my fifth-grader to school.
I ask him, “Do your friends think you have your own place? Do they not know you have a mother?”
“Mom!” He grinds the words through his teeth.
His resistance to being a baby tracks though. When I was a fifth-grader, I started getting invited to boy-girl parties. I was a woman. I would have denied my mother’s existence to anyone who spotted her. “Who her?” I would have laughed. “Some crazy lady who feeds me and makes up arbitrary rules. Not sure who she is. The government, maybe?”
At the boy-girl parties, we played spin the bottle. I sat out because as I told them, “I’m dating someone.” It was viable. I was new. I had mystery. What fifth grader didn’t have a secret lover? I could get away with that kind of shit because I was new and had a weekend dad. I was out of town enough to claim a mysterious secret identity.
I didn’t know these people. The people at the boy-girl parties had been going to school together since kindergarten. Why they invited me into their lord of the flies mixer was anyone’s guess. I would essentially be kissing a stranger. They would essentially be kissing a relative. Oh wait, maybe that’s why they invited me. Fresh meat. Blech.
But I digress. I’m just trying to get in my fifth-grade state of mind.
My fifth grader didn’t even want me to drop him at the park, where he was meeting a friend to walk to school with. The street near us is busy, so I insisted on crossing with him.
Once we crossed, he started running. He ran slowly because his backpack is essentially a portable classroom. The kids have to bring everything they need back and forth. Due to the bag’s weight, he slow-ran so I managed to snap a picture of his back. It wasn’t as cute as the Kindergarten first day of school picture, when he held a handmade DAY ONE sign in front of him, but it would do.
One factor, about the Pandemic school year, is what age your children were when the COVID anvil landed. What developmental age was truncated for your child…