Today was my day off of work. But as a mom to 7, there is never a day off or a dull moment. I am taking over color guard instructor duties at the high school for this coming year and try outs are this week. In addition to this, we have multiple concerts, graduations, field trips, field days, etc, etc, going on the next two weeks. The husband’s job is in the evening, after I get off work, so that leaves me to shuttle 7 kids in 7 different directions. Driving in a tourist town is not for the feint hearted, or the road rage-ish……and I am the queen of road rage. Add in that my meds are not keeping up with my own raging hormones and it’s lucky I’m not the lead story on the 5 o’clock news. Today I was particularly lucky…..
Today’s tryouts kind of fizzled due to lack of notice for the prospective participants. I had a feeling this may happen and because the husband had work and the boys had a band concert, I was not overly disappointed. I stopped by the store where the husband is a manager, dressed in my color guard instructor garb, to grab some easy to fix food for the kids who would be left at home while I attended the concert…..I thought. “Hey! Did you know Kindergarten graduation is TONIGHT?” the husband ever so gently drops on me. “WHAT? NO! WHEN?” I demand. “He needs to be there at 5:30, it starts at 5:45” the husband answered “Does he have anything to wear???” I ask “Sarah said she would take care of it” was his reply. Now, while I admire my 9 year old stepping up to help, I couldn’t help but not be appeased by this. SO now I needed to change clothes, fix my hair, get a 7 year old dressed, take the big boys to their call time for their concert, get Benjamin to his graduation, and try to get out of there in time to catch the last of Jonathan’s final high school concert.
The big boys were ready to leave, NOW, as soon as I walked in the door. “I HAVE TO GET DRESSED!! THEN WE WILL GO!” Hannah took over getting Benjamin ready while I threw on some nice clothes and flat ironed my hair. I got ready in record time and got three boys loaded in the car. Then I took off for the high school, on the other side of town from the elementary school….of course. We got there and the boys flew out of the car to join their friends. With time to kill, Benjamin and I went by to see Dad before we headed to his big graduation. After a quick visit, we headed for the school, hoping to be early enough to get a parking space. We were plenty early. Graduation was at 6, not 5:30. I chose my parking spot carefully, knowing I would be in a hurry to get over to the high school to see some of Jonathan’s last concert. Then we went in to find a place to sit.
Slowly, the gym filled with parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, and siblings. I started feeling a little guilty at not allowing any of Benjamin’s siblings to attend his graduation, but I knew the car would be crowded and I would be doing a lot of running around town. My thoughts kept going to the concert I was missing and I kept checking my watch. As the time crept past 6 o’clock, my patience wore thin. FINALLY, the principal came up to speak. Normally, when someone begins to speak, everyone else gets quiet. Not these people! I seriously shushed them and gave them my best teacher death glares. Have people lost ALL sense of manners??? Plus, I wanted this show on the road. Cuteness abounded with their carefully planned program. Then they got their diplomas, dismissed to separate areas and we were allowed to pick them up. I sprinted over to Benjamin and headed out the door. I quickly told him how proud I was of him. I spotted the music teacher who had put on the program walking out with us, and praised her work. I explained that my mother had been an elementary music teacher so I understood the time and effort that went into a program and thanked her for her work. Then I rounded the building to head to my car…….
“No. No way…..REALLY????” I was blocked in by two cars. “SO I get here early, get a parking spot, and some late bozo blocks me IN?” I stood there, waiting impatiently, thinking that SURELY the people who KNOWINGLY blocked someone in would hurry back to their cars to make sure not to inconvenience others. Apparently I was the only one raised with manners. I waited……and waited….and got more and more enraged. I finally grabbed Benjamin and marched BACK into the school to find the principal. I let her know some idiots had blocked others in and I was trying to make it to the concert on the other side of town. She hurried to appease the crazy eyed mom by making an announcement while I marched angrily back out to the car. There was a woman, strolling at a very leisurely pace toward one of the offending cars. I beat her and made it to mine, yelling at Benjamin to hurry and buckle in so we could leave as soon as the cars got out of the way. “Oh, sorry…..” was the reply as she STILL DIDN’T HURRY AT ALL. “If you are sorry, then HURRY UP!” My manners left with my patience. I pealed out of the parking lot like Jimmy Johnson and made my way toward the high school…..again.
I didn’t make it in time for the concert. I missed Jonathan being introduced as one of the seniors, but only after the band director had to pause to think WHICH of my kids this was standing in front of him. He explained to the audience that in all fairness there were 5 of them and it took him a minute to remember which one he was. And I missed this funny moment. But I got to see my baby graduate. and next week I will see my original baby graduate from high school and my 8th grader graduate the next day.
The moral of this blog post is people need to think of others as well as themselves, this mom included. But simple things like not blocking people in, showing respect when someone is speaking, these things mean a lot. Our children are watching and learning. We want them to learn the right things…..and not the plethora of words this mom used racing the mean streets of this tourist town. My mommy award will have to wait for another day.