I’ve had the need lately to purge the great mounds of things we have acquired in the short five years that we have resided in the ol’ blue house on Shapleigh Court. You and Olivia know the drill–when you spot me and dad dragging garbage bags out of a room, you know to steer clear and make yourself scarce for fear that we will grab whatever it is you’re holding in your hand and add it to the donation bag. Once I get going, it’s hard for me to stop. I’ve been feeling good over the amount we’ve cleared out of the house so far. I’ve felt so good that I decided to go through all of yours and Olivia’s clothes that I have saved since you were both babies.
I kept everything. Those boxes of clothes have been neatly organized, folded, vacuum-sealed and preserved for the small chance of another baby. It’s becoming very clear that you most likely will not have a younger sibling so I thought I was ready to tackle the boxes and clear out what I’ve been holding on to. I opened one box and uncovered your tiny sweatpants, your grandpa-cardigan, your first swim trunks, the hat you wore to your Up-inspired first birthday party, Olivia’s first bathing suit among so many other pieces I have watched you two grow up in. I suddenly remembered how small you were and how those little pants held those tiny sweet baby legs and I put ninety percent of everything right back in that bag. I’m not ready to tackle those boxes and perhaps the day that I do, I will need copious amounts of alcohol and your dad to offer words of encouragement because that right there, is impossible for a mother to do. I can find sentimental value in training underwear. This will not be a task I handle well so for the moment, the boxes of your childhood and my tears will remain in your closet.
About six weeks ago, I learned that you were old enough and eligible to play for our city’s little league. Now, this is something you have been talking about for over a year now. You wanted to play last year but you weren’t old enough so every month you would ask if you were now old enough to play real baseball like Coco Crisp. You are now old enough to play tee-ball and currently play for the Burlington Bees. Our neighbor, Jeremy is the head coach and dad is the assistant coach. It was quite apparent from the first team meeting that some parents take tee-ball very seriously. Those assumptions were solidified when I witnessed the parents at the first practice.
Your dad was nervous and rightfully so. Some of these parents act like their children are already being scouted. You don’t have to field your son’s balls during batting practice because “he hits too far” nor do you need to scream at them to “GET READY” when they’re warming up. I suppose this is something to be expected and maybe I’m in no position to judge since I get excited over the fact that you’re a switch hitter. Nevermind when you step up to bat and I’m screaming, PICK A SIDE THAT’S COMFORTABLE! YOU CAN CHOOSE BECAUSE YOU’RE AMAAAAAZING!!
Unfortunately, I missed your very first game and I feel so incredibly guilty for doing so. My cabin trip with Auntie Erma was planned for the same weekend and I wasn’t made aware of your first game until just a couple weeks back. I was able to see a small part of your uniform the night before I left as we wanted to make sure everything fit just right–cleats, baseball pants and of course, your first cup. You were so excited to have a cup that I wasn’t sure what you were more excited about–your first tee-ball game or your first cup. Why choose? You put it on and kept knocking on your crotch repeating, I’ve got my penis protector on! I’VE GOT MY PENIS PROTECTOR ON!!
Last week, I completed what may be my last kindergarten registration. Although, you won’t be entering kindergarten yet, you will be entering developmental kindergarten which is just as glorious because not only will you be in school for five days(!), it’s also free which is something we rarely hear these days. I arrived insanely early to discover there were parents in line that arrived at 5am! I tell you, times are crazy right now. Even if your public school is just up the road, schools are so overcrowded that you do have to camp out in line to ensure your child isn’t transferred to another school. The things I do for you and Olivia. You better take school seriously or I will make your life a living hell.
You’ve been obsessed lately with going to the skateboard park and now that you have a 2-wheel scooter, you’ve been begging to go back. I avoid the weekends at the skateboard park because it’s crazy and typically it’s alot of teens who just want to smoke and be free of parentals. I get it–I was a teenager once. I respect this and try to choose quiet times because what teens want to share their space with a four year old who has no concept of personal space? I’m your parent and even I struggle with this. We hoof it midday on a Monday and sure enough, there are two teens there. They have a radio that they’re blasting which isn’t a big deal. You start riding your scooter and immediately the two teens convene. I sense I’m about to be challenged.
I see one of the teens walk over to his radio and change the music to very inappropriate music for a child. I see what they’re doing and I refuse to back down. I have been listening to a four year old beg and plead to go to the skateboard park for weeks. We walk thirty minutes to get to the skateboard park so you can go up and down the hills squealing, EEEEEEE! If I tell you that we can’t stay, you’re going to flip out. I’m not leaving. I don’t care how explicit the music is even though the lyrics are giving me the nervous sweats. Suddenly I feel like this is a test–a battle between adults and teenagers and it’s my duty to stand up to these little twats. I have to practice because one day you will be a teenager and you will try to revolt by doing something to make me uncomfortable and I’m supposed to act unfazed otherwise you will stick with it. I must stand my ground by forcing you to listen to vulgar lyrics while pretending like I don’t care. Listen to that man rap about that lady’s bush and what he intends to do with his fist! LISTEN!
You received a lesson that morning in every word you’re not supposed to say until you’re 25 years of age. You didn’t seem fazed by the music and I’m fairly positive you didn’t understand a word that was said (fingers crossed). The teens realizing I wasn’t leaving, turned down the music and put on Mumford & Sons which I can only interpret as their white flag. I was victorious and with that, we picked up our things and headed home.
By some strange coincidence or the luck of the draw, I somehow managed to have two weekends away from you and Olivia. The first weekend, your dad and I visited Auntie Lauren and Uncle Matt in Colorado which allowed you to spend your first full weekend with Papa & GG. My first night back resulted in tears from you and Olivia because I didn’t have french toast sticks for breakfast. It’s safe to assume you enjoyed yourself at their house. This past weekend was my girl’s trip away to Nanette’s cabin and between being gone the first weekend and missing your first tee-ball game, I missed you both terribly. When I returned from my second getaway, you threw your arms around my neck and very seriously stated, no more leaving. I want you here. My dear, I would love nothing more.