Last week my youngest, five-year-old-about-to-be-six Ryan, graduated from Kindergarten. That’s it. I will never be a mom of a Kindergartner again. (Pause…) Yay! He will tell you that he is now a “Firstie”, as in a first-grader. I’d never heard that term before. Obviously, in the gap between my middle son, 11, and Ryan they’ve developed some new vernacular for each of the elementary grades.
It never fails that if I have some important event at home, I will have a conflicting important engagement at work and vice versa so even getting to Ryan’s graduation ceremony at 9:30am on a Thursday was a challenge. I’m in the middle of a couple of very demanding projects at work. Maybe there’s a problem with my Outlook calendar at work because as soon as I blocked the time for the graduation, I swear little computer spiders went around gathering up meetings related to these projects and plastered them right over the time slot for the ceremony.
And my juggling act begins. Instruct my admin to pull out her magic shield and block the time slot from any new intruders. Contact boss’s admin and beg to reschedule the meeting with my boss that overlaps the ceremony. Delegate two other meetings to direct reports. Call project manager of Project #1 and explain she’ll have to hold that morning’s meeting without me. Call project manager of Project #2 and solve outstanding issues in 5 minutes to cancel the one hour meeting also running through the ceremony time slot. Put skeletons and crossbones on that time slot in my calendar. Replace meeting description of “attend Ryan’s Kindergarten graduation” with “see doctor about possibly contagious rash”.
The day arrives and my husband neglects to understand what I already know: get there early or be prepared to walk. Sure enough, by the time we arrive, we have to park a mile from the school and there are no more seats in the gymnasium. Worse, who the heck decided no air conditioning was needed for a room packed with hundreds of people in the desert when it’s nearing 90 degrees outside? Rivers of sweat were pouring down my back as I stood there, on my tiptoes, trying to get a glimpse of Ryan.
The ceremony was cute and the kids were adorable. They actually called each child by name, handed them a “diploma” and announced what that child wanted to be when he grows up. “Ryan…Police Officer.” Police officer? He must have fallen under peer pressure already and copied someone else. He’s never wanted to be a police officer in his entire, albeit short, life.
Afterwards, he hands me his diploma so he can rush off and get a cookie. As I grab the diploma, I feel my thumb sink into something gooey…and sticky. There’s a giant glob of something thick and clear on the edge of his diploma. He’s had it for all of three minutes, for crying out loud. “Ryan, what is this on your sheet? Wet glue?”. Ryan, looking a little sheepish, “Um…I sneezed.” It takes me a second to realize my thumb is covered in his snot and, being the unprepared mother that I am, I have nothing to wipe it off with. I run him over to the cookie table, grab two napkins and a cookie, grab him a cup of juice, grab him by the collar and run outside for fresh air before I pass out.
Oh, thank you lord, bye bye, Kindergarten.