Each morning, Stephen, my baby, asks me if he has to go to school.  "Third grade is boring. We don't even do anything. We don't have enough recess. School is for attendance."  Oh, baby... you don't know boring yet, I remind.  Get dressed.  Did you eat? Get your backpack.  Do you need snack?  He doesn't answer.  He perfunctorily moves about.  I beg him to move faster. 

Eventually, we are in the car.  We have only minutes until the late bell.  I hold my breath at the light that catches us each morning.  Do I turn on red?  Too risky?  There is No Turn On Red. Stephen anticipates we will be on time.  I glance at him and quietly freak out.  He tilts his head back on the passenger seat, rolls his eyes. He has another last ditch plea.

"Mom, can you pick me up early?"  What's early? I ask, giving him false hope.  "In like 15 minutes at 9.oh.oh"  I giggle.  I grab his hand in mine.    No, baby.  Not today.  "Tomorrow, then?"  His persistence is cozy.  We turn right.  I speed up.  He senses we are moving too fast.

He yearns toward the window.  I follow his gaze toward his left periphery.  I glimpse through his little glasses.  I see a smudge mark on his lens.  I notice the distorted outside quickly pass by.  He is precious.  Dirty little glasses, no interest in school today, relentless appeal to hang out with me.  

We arrive to school.  We are barely late.  He potters up the concrete pathway, head down, kicking loose garden mulch.  He doesn't look back.  He enters the wide school doors, and he is gone.  For a moment, I agree with him.  I should give in. 

Regretfully, I do not.    


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Comment by sarah kato on July 23, 2015 at 2:55pm

Ashley, I KNOW!  It goes too fast!  Drive Slow is RIGHT! xoxo

Comment by Ashley Owen on July 23, 2015 at 2:24pm

Love it! Makes me want to cry thinking about my oldest starting school in less than a month! I want to keep him home forever.

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