Well, it’s Labor Day, signaling the end of all things summertime. My son started back at school this week, going for just two days before the long weekend (makes no sense to me). He is now at the building next door to where he was last year, signaling his rise to “big kid-dom”. He has been excited. Me? Nervous wreck. A new school drop off pattern, new teachers and new routine all made me a bit uneasy. I decided to counter this nervousness by going to a meet and greet for the parents, teachers and administrators, I dressed nicely, I smiled. I made small talk. I felt like I almost belonged with some of these super moms.
And then I saw her.
Dressed immaculately in a pink dress reminiscent of the 50’s, with pretty white trim accents, a matching bag, and a perfect ponytail that contained none of the flyaway mess that mine always seems to, was supermom. I stood there, my mouth agape, looking like a mouth breathing pion. She was so…TOGETHER. I knew, I just knew it, I was in the presence of not only a supermom, but an ubermom,
I tried to make small talk. She asked me my son’s name, and when I responded, she said “oh, our kids haven’t been in the same class together yet.”. Do you know what that means? She knew every child’s name (committed to memory no less!) who had been in her child’s class for the past 3 years. I bet she even knew what they looked like and what their favorite goodies from the bake sales were! She knew all the parents in the room (except for me) and the teachers as well. She made it all seem so…effortless.
Even I couldn’t loathe her perfectness. My usual cynical self went quiet and I wondered “how does she do it?”. I admit it, I was impressed.
I am not like her. I am messy, chaotic, fly by the seat of my pants. Even my son says “mom, you’ll always get to the important stuff, even though it may not look pretty while you’re doing it.”. I am the mom who is dressed down, screeching into the parking lot at the last second, hair wild and eyes scoping for an entrance. I have tattoos, a nose piercing, and bright red hair. I am not June Cleaver. I am the mom who forgets some of the rules at times, or who has sent her kid in his football jersey the day before dress down day at school. I am not color coordinated. I know maybe 6 kids in his grade by name and a few extra by face, but I sure as hell haven’t memorized the class list. My ponytail is never free of flyaway hairs. Sometimes, I am grad on myself for these things. However, sometimes, I remember the first part of his statement: “mom, you’ll always get to the important stuff…”.
I’ll leave work on lunch, careening out the parking lot while jamming a protein bar in my mouth so I can see his concert on my lunch break. I’ve run in high heels, arriving red faced and sweaty to read to his kindergarten class. I have tip toed into work late because I needed to walk him in on his first day. We may not make it to every school event, but we get to the important stuff. I may look a hot mess doing it, but my son knows his mom’s face will be in the crowd, beaming with pride. I have 2 kids, a full time job, and a crazy schedule, but I make it work so far. It may get harder when the little one starts school, but I’ll be there for the important stuff. Until then, I may try color coordinating a bit. It’s the closest I’ll get to the ubermom, but I think I’m doing ok so far.