End of the Year

“So, Mom out there sending Lunchables with your kid, making her wear shoes with holes because we’re.almost.there, practicing “auditory reading” with your 1st grader, I got your back, sister. We were awesome back in October; don’t you forget that. We used to care, and that counts for something.

— Jen Hatmaker

It’s almost the end of the school year. Almost. And “almost” is the worst place to be. Boy Scout (whose nickname will likely be changed as soon as I can come up with something better) and Hermione finished school on Tuesday. Tiger and Lucy finish in about a week and a half. And this, folks–this is the worst place in the year to be. Jen Hatmaker explains why in this fabulous post. Boy Scout and Hermione wanted to know why I was laughing so hard that I was snorting and crying, and all I could say was, “you cannot possibly even understand unless you are a mother.”

Yesterday, Boy Scout and Hermione had an all-day, end-of-the-year party at a local amusement park. The three of us went with my best friend and her daughter, and the best friend and I sat knitting and chatting for most of the day while the three progeny amused themselves. Aside from a bit of rain and some cold fingertips, that part of my day was actually quite nice.

Around 3:00 p.m., Mr. P. called me from the other school’s pick-up line. “There’s a sign here about a music concert tonight,” he said. “Is that for us?”

“No,” I said. “I think they’ve been using the building for other schools or concerts or something.”

A few minutes later, he called back. “No, this is our concert,” he said. “Didn’t you know about it?”

It is here where you have to understand the outstanding restraint of the Holy Spirit that I experienced. In this crowd of private Christian school teens, I came very close to spewing all manner of un-Christian language. I can only account for my lack of spewage by assuming that the Spirit of God had His Hand firmly clamped over my mouth. “Uh, no,” I said. “What time is it?”

“They have to be here by 5:45. I can’t go–Boy Scout and I have that other thing.”

Yes, I had already done that math in my head. It looked something like this:

“Mom arrives home at 4:15 p.m. without her afternoon coffee. Two members of the family have to leave at 4:45. Three members of the family have to be at the school at 5:45. One member of the family doesn’t have to leave again at all. All six members of the family have to eat dinner. How long until Mom’s nervous breakdown?”

How did I miss this announcement? Apparently, it’s been in our weekly reminder e-mails for some time. It is possible, I suppose, that in my weekly skimming for things pertinent to my life, I just missed it, or I skimmed it so many times that I didn’t really internalize it. It’s also possible that it was in my old Outlook calendar–the one that died some time ago, the one that I transferred (mostly) to my Google calendar–and I missed it in the transfer. I don’t know. I have four kids, two schools, three scouting units, one church, and a partridge in a pear tree to maintain. Things are going to get lost.

Tiger decided to put on a white dress shirt and clip-on tie for the concert. Lucy wanted to just stay in her school uniform until she saw Tiger dressed up. Then she made the sudden, whiplash-inducing decision to change into a dress. At this point, I opted for a Taco Bell meal that we could grab on the way to the school. Hermione could fend for herself at home, and Boy Scout and Mr. P could eat something while they were gone.

Upon arriving at the Taco Bell, Tiger realized he’d left his recorder at home. Already factoring in the extra time to return home for the recorder, I urged them both to eat quickly, but carefully. Such admonishments usually mean that someone will spill something–which, in this case, meant red fruit punch all down the white shirt.

Did I mention that I apparently ordered the wrong thing for Lucy? Yes, she had to eat it anyway. Because I said so.

We raced through the rest of the meal and went home. Tiger could only find one of his brother’s old dress shirts as a replacement–one that was FAR too big. We had to role the sleeves up about five folds to get them to a decent length. I will not insert here the argument we had to have at that point about how we don’t roll up boy’s shirts on the inside.

We did manage to get the concert on time. Barely. I knitted all the way through it. Because, dang it, whiskey wasn’t allowed.

While I mightily respect the other mothers I know who continually post happy-sunshine-blessing messages on their social media accounts, just once, I would like to see one of those church moms admit that all they really want is a really big glass of wine.

Till next we meet . . .