The past few days have been magically wonderful, exhausting, and death defying.
Friday morning, I boarded a school bus with 36 four year olds and went to pick strawberries in the middle of nowhere.
Okay, so it wasn’t the middle of nowhere. Just nowhere I’d ever been before.
And if you’ve never taken a trip with 36 four year olds, I recommend it. You will appreciate your child’s teacher a thousand times over.
And you will also know what herding kittens is like.
We divided into little groups and set out with our strawberry picking preschoolers, and we dug around in that dirt until our hands and knees…and shoes and pants and elbows and noses and behinds…looked like Scarlett O’Hara’s while she sat atop that hill and dug up potatoes.
Little side note: I seriously almost wrote “digged” instead of “dug”. I mean, really.
Caia, who is the biggest strawberry fanatic I know, slyly picked one out of her bag, bit into it. And I looked away, pretending not to see her…because really, she shouldn’t be eating just-picked-unwashed strawberries, right? But it was too cute to tell her to quit, so I let her munch away. But when I peeked back over at her, she had thrown the strawberry under the picnic table.
So I asked, “Why did you throw your strawberry away?”
“It had a worm in it.”
Some lessons just teach themselves, I guess.
A few hours later, I’m in car rider line, with the two younger kiddos dressed up in swimsuits, beach towels and a bag of Goldfish (I mean, what more do you need?) ready to pick up McKenna to head to the pool.
My phone dings. NEW EMAIL!
Since no one ever emails me…okay, except for like Kellogg’s or Old Navy or some other random company wanting my money, i immediately check it. It’s from McKenna’s teacher….and the subject line says “Looping!”
And I almost wet my pants.
Basically, looping means that your child’s class and teacher “loop up” to the next grade together…essentially starting off the school year right where they left off. Everyone knows everyone, the kids are comfortable, the teacher knows the kids and their strengths and weaknesses and little personalities…all around, I think it’s pretty freaking amazing.
The school my kids go to is nothing short of absolutely phenomenal. Seriously. It is everything that I ever hoped for when I had to start thinking about school for my own kids. As a former teacher, I was so afraid of being “that mom”.
You know “that mom”. We ALL know “that mom”.
But at this school, with that staff, I’m just a mom. And I love it.
I call Stephen as I read the email that confirms the subject line.
I’m crying, I’m shaking, I’m speechless.
Okay. Not that speechless.
“She’s looping!! She’s looping!!”
Stephen has no idea what this means. I might as well have called him and said, “Blue monkeys need orange juice!”
When I’m able to explain, he goes silent.
He’s crying too.
These are tears of joy, people.
I know we sound a bit over emotional, but with McKenna being diagnosed with SPD recently, it has opened up a whole new can of worms in her education. The therapy is going great, and her teacher KNOWS her. She helps when we need help, and she has been the best thing that could’ve happened to McKenna this year.
Stephen’s words were, “It’s as though God is walking her step by step through this process of working through her sensory processing issues.”
So basically, I’ve been so elated that I really just want to walk up to everybody and just be all, “My kid gets to keep her teacher next year and it’s a really big deal because this school rocks my face off and we just found out she has this thing called sensory processing disorder and she can be a total wreck sometimes but not at school because her teacher works so well with her and I just thought you should know that. Soooo…”
So McKenna gets in the van and I’m like, “I heard the best news just now.”
And she’s like, “I did too!”
And I’m all, “You go first!”
And she’s all, “My teacher is moving to second grade and my whole class gets to go with her!”
We party a little in the van, and then I nearly cause a collision because I see Jack’s flip flop at the edge of the school parking lot. (That’s an entirely different story altogether.) So I have to stop and get it. You know, it’s a $4.00 Target flip flop, and its definitely worth a rise in the cost of my car insurance if I get rear-ended picking it up.
In my defense, I’m not thinking clearly.
I’ve inhaled too many strawberries AND received priceless news….and overall, my sense of judgment goes out the window when I’m in this state, because THE WORLD IS MY OYSTER AND NOTHING’S GONNA BREAK ME!
Break my tail light and rear bumper, maybe. But not me!
So, we go to the pool and party like it’s 1999. Our friends are there and they each have a buddy to play with, and I have a mommy to talk to, and there’s a bag of Goldfish to fight over.
When pool time is over, we head for home. And, on the curb at the front of our street, is ANOTHER one of my kid’s shoes! This time it’s McKenna’s. And I have absolutely no clue how or why my kids are losing their shoes on the side of the road all over Charleston.
Anyway, one of my heroes, Stacy, is coming over to watch the kiddos while Stephen and I have a….wait for it…date!
Now, I gotta admit I’m skeptical, because he wanted to go bike riding and eat burgers.
I was thinking quiet restaurant and wearing heels.
I hide my disappointment well, though.
Oh whatever. No, I don’t.
But, it’s a date. With no children. No cleaning up after dinner. Or accidentally falling asleep in a kid’s bed.
We ended up on Sullivan’s Island, where the locals (that’s not fair…ONE local) doesn’t take kindly to newbie bike riders crossing Main Street…one of them on her purple bike with a basket, her humongous purse hanging on her arm, and a high pitched squeal coming from her throat while her husband is behind her yelling, “Put your purse in the basket, Annette!”
I think I heard people laughing at me.
Whatever. I KNOW they were laughing at me.
And possibly pointing.
We eat our burgers and fries, and even after the previous incident, he still insists on taking a bike ride.
I indulge him, but I tell him that by NO MEANS am I riding down “Main Street” again, and that I’m pretty sure he’s trying to kill me.
He leads me down the back roads of quiet Sullivan’s Island. Slowly, my grip on the handlebars loosens.
The evening island breeze blowing though my hair, the scent of….some South Carolinian tree or flower or air freshener scenting the air, and passing by houses, I mean large multi-million dollar estates, that I’m staring at in such wonder that I almost careen into the golf carts parked outside next to their mailboxes.
We end up at Fort Moultrie where we park our bikes, walk up to the shoreline, and stand holding hands looking out over the lights of the city, while waves crash against the rocks, and dolphins swim by and wave at us.
Just kidding about the dolphins.
So I misjudged bike riding for a date.
It was fun, relaxing, and we had good chats while we were gawking at the sights of a (rich person) island town.
We make our way back to the car and I ask him how far his little odometer thingie says we’ve gone. I’m thinking we’re rock stars, and we’ve totally blown this out of the water, right?
I think it was, like, three miles.
“So how many calories you think we burned?” I asked.
“Um, like, 40.”
Just like my man to be “tongue in cheek”.
“So, like, enough to justify going to get a doughnut, right?”
And so we….got frozen yogurt instead.
It sounded healthier.
Until I topped it with marshmallow sauce. And caramel cups.