I'm delighted to have another guest poster in the Telling Stories series! Today's guest poster is
Angela of Momopolize. She writes about her four sons as well as life with Lyme disease and Lupus. Sometimes serious, usually humorous, always honest. I'm honored that she is sharing her story with us on Becoming SuperMommy today.
This school year, we had a dilemna. Are Eric and Greg are old enough to walk home from school alone? After going back and forth (and back and forth and back and forth), we decided yes. Since we live less than a mile from the school, we do not have bus service. Up until this point, someone has picked them up every day. There are walking paths and sidewalks the entire route home and there will be 4-5 kids walking together. No big deal, right?
Today was the first day of school. They were very excited about the big walk. As the day progressed, scenarios went through my head of things going wrong.
What if they forget they are supposed to walk home and stand out in front of the school waiting for me. The other Moms will think I forgot to pick up my kids on the very first day! How embarrassing will that be??? Yeah, my first “worry” was what others would think, not safety. Mom of the year here.
One of the paths goes near a busy road. What if they are goofing around and go off the path? What if they get too close to the road with the cars whizzing by?? At least my SECOND worry was safety. I redeemed myself. A little.
What if Eric and Greg get in an argument? They have reached the age that arguments between them usually turn physical. I pictured them rolling around in the grass, wrestling and punching as their buddies cheered “Fight. Fight. Fight.”
What if they get lost? They could be wandering through the woods hours later in the dark. We’ve walked that way many times so that thought was most ridiculous, but it was still a thought.
I finally calmed my fears by deciding to walk half way to meet them. That was a good compromise for the first day. I knew they wouldn’t be happy to see me intruding on their “big boy freedom” but that’s ok.
At dismissal time, I strolled out of the house thinking of a good response to the “why are you here, Mom?” question when I met them. “It’s just such a pretty day, I decided to walk also.” That wouldn’t really be convincing as I had sweat dripping from the 95 degree heat. Oh well, stalker Mom it is.
I got half-way to the half-way point when it dawned on me – there are two different ways they could walk home. We hadn’t discussed which way they were going to walk. If I picked the wrong path, I would miss them completely and they would go home to an empty house and think Mom didn’t even care enough to be home to see how their first day went. I turned around and walked back home. At least they won’t know I was helicopter Mom now.
Twenty minutes after dismissal passes and they still aren’t home. Common sense told me dismissal takes longer than normal on the first day and the kids aren’t going to sprint home, but I still wondered if one of my premonitions had happened. To the car I go. I drive to the end of our street and as I turn onto the next street, I see them. Almost home. Not on the route I was walking on to meet them, of course. They were happily walking on the side-walk, grinning from ear to ear. I thought about slouching down in the seat and backing down the street back to our house so they wouldn’t see me, but it was too late.
They walked over to my car and, as predicted, Eric says “What are you doing?” I sheepishly respond, “just checking.” He gave me the one eyebrow raised look that I know too well. As they are standing in the road by my car talking to me, I realize that THIS moment is probably the LEAST safe moment of their walk. Way to go Mom.
After the friends go to their houses, Eric and Greg sprint home. They get to our driveway faster than I can drive there. They race to see who can get on the video game system the quickest as they yell “we don’t have homework, but YOU do!”
I guess they really are ready to walk home alone. It’s me that isn’t.