I had forgotten the smell and ceaseless noise made by 40 sweaty kids packed into a school bus. I had forgotten the long drives, with open windows to provide true air conditioning that blew my hair in my face till it itched. It all came back as I watched the boys pull their heads and arms into their t-shirts, roar and crush water bottles like He-Men, and listened to the girls giggle, whisper, and make silly faces.
I forgot what it felt like to be in a world of small people, the pressures, and the political posturing. I remembered as my little one clung to me heart broken over having to use a wolf for the 3rd Billy Goat's Gruff.
remember feeling so proud of my young pretty mom when she came to class to deliver my birthday cupcakes, so I worried how Little Mother would feel taking a middle aged woman with her. My concern deepened as she woke me this morning with a full tour of my closet, picking out the most uncomfortable and stylish clothes in my closet for our visit to a 19th century pioneer town. "Tell her to go take a hike", my protective husband said. "I can't." I replied. "I know it means a lot to her not to be ashamed of me. I'm okay with it."
The boys rachetted their hands, made machine gun noises and kept sighting their favorite little girls. They called their names over and over while the girls ignored them and continued clapping out Pease Porriage Hot. Yet at Virginia Reel time, they smiled oh so coyly as they sidled up to the boys. My mind went back to Mrs. Clark's third grade class. I sat by Ryan Gardner with the big brown eyes. He chased me at recess and Jeni Bott and I talked about him as we played. He came back and asked me out when I was in high school, but the magic had gone. Yes, I guess I participated in this immature flirtation.
As we walked along the pebbled streets, I felt a little padded hand creep into mine, over and over. "Isn't my mom so pretty!" The 5 girls I chaperoned clamored around me petting my earrings, smoothing my hair, touching my necklace. Little Mother beamed. "My Mom!" She forcefully moved the girls closest to me away so she could take her rightful spot. Trying to understand the mysteries of womanhood, they raided my purse, tried my gum, dabbed my perfume on their wrists and tasted my water. "Even her water tastes minty and fresh! Maybe it's our lip gloss!" I keep Spearmint oil in my water with a touch of vanilla, but I'll let it hold it's womanly magic for now.
Yes, now I remember. I remember it all. After all, it wasn't the olden days.
It was worth the humiliation of asking for help with my other two. For 5 hours, I walked in my daughters world. And she is not yet ashamed.