I pride myself on being First Mom. First mom means that I am the first mom to get to school and wait for my son.
It started in kindergarten. I didn't want my son to ever have to wait for me, but there was a lot of traffic in the kindergarten circle and I was worried I'd be late. I decided to just get there really early for a prime spot, sit in my car, and read a book while waiting. It made life easy.
In first grade, I'd get out of the car and stand by the classroom and wave. It wasn't planned. One day, I was just peeking in, seeing what I can see. My son saw me, loved that I was there, and asked me to do it again, and again. In rain, in snow, in chilling weather, I'd stand outside. No matter what.
Second grade was easier. I could park right in front of the classroom and he'd see me. I read, talked to moms who walked by, and in nicer weather, I'd park then walk the Boulevard. Third grade was the same, and by then, I started walking with other moms. The Wildwood walkers, we called ourselves.
Fourth grade (this year), I am back in the kindergarten circle. It's the main pick-up and drop off area for the front door. I am not sure why they call it the kindergarten circle, actually.
Today, for the first time ever, I was not only late, but 45 minutes late. Here's what happened. Apparently, the kids had early dismissal. I wasn't aware of it, didn't get the email in our virtual backpack, and didn't see anything about half days in October on the calendar. I did see early dismissal the day before Thanksgiving, though, so I made the assumption that the calendar I saw would have marked all half days.
Having not been to the gym in nearly eight months, Ward and I decided to go back today. The gym does not have cell service, and we walked in at 12:45 p.m. When we left an hour later, I saw I'd had a number of missed calls from the school. I called back and the secretary said, "Johnny's here." Of course he was. School was in session, I believed. I asked, "Is he okay?" And they said, "Yes, he's just waiting for you." I asked why, and they said school was dismissed at 1 p.m.
1 p.m. Oh my. What must he have been thinking?
He told me how he'd run happily out of school looking for me, and I wasn't there. He searched and searched, and no mom. After 15 minutes, he went into the school to tell them I never came to pick him up, and the secretaries began calling me. Another 30 minutes later, I saw the missed calls, and called back. Ultimately, he waited 45 minutes and I failed at being there for him.
He thought I'd forgotten about him.
So much for first mom.