“Phew! I’m exhausted. I need a drink,” said my 9-year-old.
Said my 9-year-old.
“Couldn’t’ve said it better myself, kiddo. A drink of what?”
FYI, she wanted juice. Please join in my relief.
I got Miss Aden her juice, and then I probed deeper on the exhaustion. “Why are you so tired, baby?”
“Being good at school is hard, Mom. I’m so, so, so tired.”
I should’ve known. Little Miss Aden has been working her Being Consistently Good butt off. And I’m very, very proud of her Herculean efforts.
For this child, Being Consistently Good is comparable to bending a spoon with one’s mind, or making the Eiffel tower disappear, or losing weight eating bacon. I mean, I’ve seen those things happen, but I don’t necessarily believe they’re true, possible or real. Sometimes, though, believing in new realities takes a leap of faith from the mundane to the magical. And since I want to be the kind of mama who trusts my kids to make magic happen, I find myself flying off the mundane cliff and enjoying the free fall with ’em.
About a month ago, post-second-suspension, we hauled out the big guns. We dangled the big carrot. We cajoled and bribed and threatened using the one and only thing we thought would make an iota of difference. “If you can manage not to get suspended for the last month of school,” I said, trying to sound less than completely desperate, “then I will consider allowing you to attend camp this summer.”
Tough love for my 9-year-old. Tougher love for the Mommy. Please, oh please, I thought, don’t get suspended! We ALL want you to go to camp.
Today was it. The final day of school. The final opportunity to get suspended. Suspended from what, you might wonder? Oh, like my kid wouldn’t manage to get suspended on the last day of school. Seriously. Thinking that is like waving a giant, red flag in Fate’s face. Yoo hoo! Oh, Fay-ate. Come and get me! So I didn’t think it. Not for one second. Because I have learned my fate-tempting lesson.
I dropped Miss Aden off this morning for her final, half-day of school. I prepped Aden in the car like I imagine a trainer preps a prize fighter before the match. “This is it! The big one. It all comes down to today. This hour. This moment. I believe in you. Your teacher believes in you. We all believe in you. You can do it!” Fist bumps and high fives all around.
Miss Aden’s reply?
“I think I can do it, Mom. But it’s gonna be a close one.”
Well, the close ones are always the best games to watch, now, aren’t they?
With bated breath, I waited throughout the day ’til the results came in.
And when I saw Aden after school, she screamed her victory. Ecstatic child! “I DID IT! I WON! I GET TO GO TO CAMP!”
Ecstatic mom! Best end of school ever. WE DID IT! WE WON! SHE GETS TO GO TO CAMP!
Good on ya, A! Way to end strong.
So I sit here in my dark living room with the light fading outside and my computer screen growing brighter and brighter and more jarring by the minute. And all I can think to say, in the immortal words of my quotable 9-year-old daughter is
Phew! I’m exhausted. I need a drink.