Written by Emily
No big deal.
“Wait up, Noah! I’ll walk you the whole way to school today. Just today,” I followed behind.
At the walking-train stop, the crossing guard in her snappy uniform and glowing stop sign yelled, “Are you ready for the first day of school?”
“YES!” the kids cheered in unison.
“Wait. What?! Noooo!” screamed my insides.
“Noah!” shouted a second grader, who cheerfully wiggled his way next to Noah in line.
I wouldn’t be walking to the school today. I watched from the parking lot.
Noah walked away already chatting about little boy things with his new neighborhood buddy.
As I turned to walk away, my coffee in one hand, Sylvie and her wolf in the other, Chloe skipping around my legs, I saw what I hate about school.
There, gathered like a flock of popular kids on the playground, were parents from the neighborhood. They all laughed and joked and congregated as the kids marched on toward the beginning of another year.
Gah! While I was wrapped up in my own sappy good-bye, the rest of the neighborhood was practicing a secret handshake. What am I supposed to do? I can’t smile and nod from the periphery. Lame. I certainly can’t sidle up next to them and laugh at the inside joke I didn’t even hear and if I did, wouldn’t understand. Awkward.
If I walk past, am I being rude?
I pretended to be super interested in Sylvie’s face. Is that a new freckle? Hold still! “What Chlo? What did you say?” Oh! Nothing. Thanks for helping a mama out. How about you do me a solid and create a diversion? No?
I turned to watch Noah get farther and farther away.
I’m not ready for school.