First day of fifth grade. I did not schedule anything for today because my calendar said "first day of school" and now I'm sitting here with my thumb up my ass until 2.
I had a weird experience this morning. Leila insisted that I walk her to her class room. She's been insisting this much longer than any of the other kids, and last year I kept pointing out to her that I was the only mom dangling outside the classroom waiting for the door to open. She said she didn't care, she wasn't embarrassed, and asked me if I was. I wasn't, but even if I had been I could really tell her, "I'm embarrassed on your behalf."
I told her that I would walk her to her classroom for the first three days and after that I would walk her to the crosswalk with the dog and she would take it from there. Then comes the foot injury bullshit, and all that walking is out the window, much to the chagrin of my dog. I drove to the school, and, I'll admit it to you here: I used my long-expired disabled placard. I was in a lot of pain, and I have the big boot on, and I decided that if someone messed with me I would just write down my license plate number for them and point them in the direction of the police station across the street and tell them to bite me. Before we were parked, Leila yelled, "There's my friend! Let me out!!!" and I was all, "No way!" She was the one that made the stink about me walking her to her classroom, and here I was trussed up in my boot ready to do just that, and I WAS BREAKING THE LAW in the process. No way was she getting out and running ahead. I walked her to her classroom of her new school, met her new teacher (who looked vaguely stoned. I'm sure she wasn't, but I grew up in the 70s when we were sure they were.) and hobbled back to my car.
Then I started to weep. Just a little, and just for a minute, because I realized that this was it: I have walked her to her classroom for 5 years, and now its over. I will probably never walk her to her classroom again, and she's going to grow up and get boobs and text people and I'm old and unhip and lame.
Three years ago, on this very blog, I described a time when Leila was in second grade and wanted to walk from the lunch tables to her classroom by herself. It was a big deal. She scampered off and said, "Wish me luck!" as if she might get lost or mugged on the way. And now here we are.
I'm not sure I've ever felt so old.