My oldest child started 2nd grade today.
I woke up at 5:30 a.m., a full hour before my alarm was supposed go off, unable to go back to sleep because it felt like Christmas morning.
I did all of the things mothers are supposed to do when their children start 2nd grade. I lovingly fashioned pancakes out of the instant mix that comes in a bottle that you pour water into and shake really hard.
I made sure I had a bra on, just in case the neighbors could see me shaking that bottle of pancake batter.
I laid out Maverick’s navy blue uniform shorts and told him to ignore the lint that blanketed them – clearly, washing them with new towels was a mistake – and made sure that his tennis shoes were double-knotted.
We missed the bus, but I assured him there was plenty of time for us to go through the carpool line. I corralled the other pajama’d children and loaded them all into our van.
(Maverick has been telling us for months that he wants to be an “asteroidal physicist.” Last year and the year before that, he just wanted to be a regular scientist. I’m not sure what changed, but I do know that I was Googling “asteroidal physicist” before I had my coffee this morning, and that was intense.)
We rounded the corner and waited in the long line of cars at the elementary school, and because I am a good mother who tries to do the right things, I attempted to have a special moment with my child.
You know what I’m talking about. That moment when you and your kid connect on a deeper level, and he or she understands for a fleeting moment the depth of your love, and you relish the feeling that you’re doing a really good job until you find yourself screaming “DON’T EAT THE TOOTHPASTE OUT OF THE BATHROOM SINK!” yet again.
I turned around in my seat to look at him, blinking back tears. “Maverick, I am so proud of you and I hope you have a great day. Your brother and sister are really going to miss you tod—”
This was the precise moment that the teacher who was on carpool duty opened our van door and Maverick yelled “BUH-BYE, SUCKAS!!!!!!” at the top of his lungs as he leapt out.
She stood there for a moment, frozen.
I smiled and yelled “HAVE A GREAT DAY!” as if this was perfectly normal, as though the Hobbs family yells that phrase every time they part ways.
Her face never changed expression as she slid the door closed.
I’ve decided that the next time I drop my children off somewhere, I’ll kiss them all goodbye as usual, and as they smile and wave at me like the little darlings that they are, I will roll down the window of our beat-up van and shout “BUH-BYE, SUCKAS!!!!” as I peel the eff out.
Because this is how we do, SUCKAS.