In the open spaces of my heart, live two children, each equally loved, but cataclysmically different. They both have the same portion of my love and my soul, each with their own physical traits and characteristics forever linking them to me, but alas I only comprise 50% of their make up, so it’s only natural for them to be so much alike and yet so different.
My oldest is outgoing, loving, methodical, and eager to please. My youngest, not quite so outgoing, a bit more calculating and manipulative, and while he may be a bit standoffish at first, he is quick to love and be loved. They both have my chin, one has my nose, and they both suffer from mom’s recessive gene of fair hair at such a young age. Their personalities are different, at times polar opposites, but they definitely share mom’s dominant stubborn gene.
With the start of school last week, I was eager to see how both of my boys would do and since we were milking our last few days of summer vacation for all of its worth, we missed meet the teacher and student orientation at their school. This meant I would need to walk the boys into their classrooms, since neither had any idea where to go. Also, I’m THAT mom who will walk her children into school the first day, regardless.
For this school year, my husband and I decided it would be best to have Davey attend MWF and Henry on T/Th. I am well aware that this means for me I will be on the road a lot, but it also means for me some individual time with my boys, something I have wanted for quite some time. I must also add this disclaimer…it was technically my husband’s idea for the school year set up, I believe so that I would NOT have any personal time to myself. He deals with “children” himself in the adult world and I suppose felt that since he couldn’t get a break from the adults behaving as children, then neither should I. Just my theory. So, with this being our set up, I felt compelled to leave Henry with my mom and dad on Davey’s first day and then vice versa for Henry’s first day. And here, my friends, is where the Tale of Two Children picks up.
First day of school for Davey goes something like this…
As I am walking Davey into school, he sees he’s old teacher’s assistant. This woman has been a blessing to us, she’s worked with Davey since he was in K2 and I quickly learned she would also have our Henry for this year. Unfortunately, that meant that Davey’s security blanket would be gone, as if he ever really needed one. Once Davey saw her, he stopped in his tracks and turned around to me, “mom, can you believe this? Look who it is! It’s Mrs. Whaling. Oh boy, I bet she’s missed me.” Nope, does not have a humble bone in any corner of his body. After hugging Mrs. Whaling, Davey then proceeds into school, where he sees his old K2 teacher and as if he’s a politician going around shaking hands and kissing babies, he must hug Mrs. Norwood before saying, “I’ll see you around this year, Mrs. Norwood.” Big Man on Campus then proceeds down the hallway where lo and behold there is Mrs. Scott’s classroom. We must stop and hug her as well, and as we are looking for his classroom, Davey says, “I bet Mrs. Scott missed me a lot.” Again…humility? Nope!
Once we find his classroom, I introduce myself to his teacher, apologize profusely for being at the beach instead of meeting her, and then introduce Davey who immediately holds out his hand, shakes her’s and then says, “nice to meet you.” His current teacher gives me the rundown, asks if I would be willing to assist with anything and then as I walk out the door, hug and kiss Davey one more time, I hear, “it’s gonna be a great year, mom, I just know it.” Easy peasy for this mom.
First day of school for Henry goes a little something like this…
I drop Davey off with my mom and dad, calling as I’m around the corner, so she can meet me outside, grab Davey and I can go. I need it to be as painless as possible, especially since I know how attached Henry is to his Mimi (my mom). My hopes were dashed when Henry went into Stage 4 meltdown once he realized that Mimi was taking Davey and not him. His chin began to tremble, the lower lip started protruding and I don’t know who was going to cry first…him or my mother.
For the entire 15 minute ride to school, I had to endure bellows of, “Mimi, don’t leave me.” and “Mimi, save me. I stay with you,” all the while he’s clawing his window as if he’s a caged animal heading off to slaughter. Really, my son, do you think mommy would do that to you??? The thought has crossed my mind of some sort of torture, but nothing like what his mind was developing. Kidding, folks, just kidding!
Once we arrive at school; however, life is grand. Henry sees Mrs. Whaling who is now his TA and life is good again. Now, flash forward a week.
Yesterday being Labor Day, there was no school. So, Davey couldn’t go, but Henry could today. Davey? He’s bummed, but he’ll survive. Henry? Let’s just say that I had to drag him out of the car crying and while not at his stage 4 meltdown, perhaps only at a 2, hand him off to Mrs. Whaling as he cried while being carried in. Davey finds it undignified to be carried inside. Henry? He needs that attention. Of course, once I pick Henry up from school, the world is rainbows and unicorns and has been since the moment he stepped foot into his classroom. I ask him, “would mommy ever steer you wrong?” And with his thumb in his mouth, nods his head and says, “yes.” The child knows me too well.
We’re only one week into school and I can already imagine the scenarios that will play out in the story of A Tale of Two Children.