I used to think Bug refused my hugs and kisses because he was on a very tight schedule. I used to think Bug, in all his little boy glory, needed to be in constant motion or else he would die, like a tornado. (That metaphor is actually ridiculously accurate, if you’ve seen his bedroom 2.5 seconds after he gets home from school.)
I used to be naive.
Dropping him off at school today, he crawled into the front seat, like always, and as I drove up to the drop zone, I started my monologue, like always: “Be good today, listen to your teachers, make sure you stay focused on your worksheets, I love you, Bugsy, have a great day…” and leaned in for the Good-bye Kiss. I should have known.
“Mo-om,” he complained, barely above a whisper, as if his friends inside the school would hear him and discover that yes, I really am his mother.
So it’s begun. Isn’t he still too young to be embarrassed by me?
Because I’m the Cool Mom, I didn’t let on that I was crying on the inside. For a split second, I entertained the thought of breaking down in front of him, turning on the waterworks, appealing to the tender heart I know he has (the one wrapped in dirt and grass stains and martial arts). Instead, I just smiled, slowed the car to a crawl, and said, “If you don’t give me a kiss now, I’ll give you one in front of all your friends.”
That did the trick.
I didn’t say I played fair.
Can you blame me? (Don’t answer that.)