In honor of this occasion, each child was asked to dress up as his or her 100-year-old self. (You know how I love dressing the boys up in costumes for school.) So on Wednesday afternoon, Gus and I went to the Salvation Army and purchased an old-man's fishing hat, a Hawaiian shirt, and some long black knee socks. With the exception of the Italian leather sandals I'd been hoping to procure (thrifters can't be choosers), Gus was ready to go.
Except, he told me, "they aren't doing the 100th day of school tomorrow."
"Yes they are," I said. "They sent home a memo."
"They changed it."
"Did they send home another memo saying they changed it?"
"Then I’m sure it's still happening."
"No, Mom. The teacher said it's not."
“But the MEMO said it is!”
Is not! Is too! Is not! Is too!
Why did I not listen to my son? Why did I not take him at his word? Why did I insist on clinging to the words of last week's memo like a Muslim extremist to Jihad?
Because it was the 100th day of school! THE LORD MADE IT SO.
So we got to school, and Gus was all decked out.
As he was climbing out of the car with his walking stick, I surveyed the kids running into the building with that sinking feeling you get when you arrive in heaven and you’re all WHERE ARE MY 40 VIRGINS AND WHY IS NO ONE ELSE DRESSED LIKE A FLORIDA RETIREE?
No one was dressed up.
"What happened to the 100th day of school?" I asked Gus’s teacher.
"Did you forget, Gus?” she said. “We moved it to next week."
“I didn’t forget," he said.
"I just never got a MEMO,” I told her. (MEMO! MEMO! GIVE ME MY MEMO!)
Like I’m the CEO of kindergarten. I DEMAND A MEMO.
But still, besides the fact that I was the ONLY parent who didn’t listen to her child, don’t you think they should have sent home a memo? (Check _Yes or _Yes)
So all day I’m feeling like a piece of shit for not listening to Gus, for not calling another parent to verify, and for sending him to school in SHORTS and a Hawaiian shirt in the middle of February. I can hardly concentrate at work, because I’m itching for the end of the day when I can pick him up, apologize and set things right.
Finally, three o’clock rolls around, and for the first time EVER, they let the kids out three minutes early.
Of course they did!
Why let them out at 3:00 so I can be standing there to whisk my child away? No. Let’s let them out at 2:57, so all the parents can get a good long look at Gus in his costume, a shivering shorts-wearing monument to my maternal ineptitude.
“Hi, Sweet Bean,” I said.
“Cold Bean,” he replied. “And the dumbest boy in my class.”AWESOME.
I AM SO AWESOME.
GOLD STAR FOR ME.
“You’re not dumb,” Gus. “It was my mistake. I should have listened to you.”
And then I sat in the front of the minivan and let him lecture me about how I often fail to wear my listening ears, and how just because I used to be in school A LONG TIME AGO doesn’t mean I know everything about what’s going on at HIS school IN THESE MODERN TIMES and let me just tell you, GOD HELP THE FUTURE PERSONAL ASSISTANT WHO MAKES AN ERROR ON GUS’S TRAVEL ITINERARY. May the force be with you.
“So, when is the 100th day of school?” I asked.
“Next week,” he said, handing me … what was this?! … a memo!
What a novel idea!
Do you see that memo?!
Like nothing ever happened! Like the 100th day of school was ALWAYS next Tuesday! Like the 100th day of school and the 105th day of school are THE SAME THING.
100th Day of School:
100th Day of School:
One: I will defer to Gus in all matters of scheduling from this day forward.
And two: if I make it to my 100th birthday (which I think is highly unlikely after this ordeal), I’m going to have a big party with all of my friends … and 105 candles on my cake!Make that 106. I want one for good luck.