Alex ran into school this morning….yay!…so excited to play. I’ve taken him there several times, and he’s always had great experiences with me cheering him on. I almost expected him to say, “Bye!” with no fanfare because he’s so social, confident, and friendly–but I was quickly b*tchslapped back into reality. I explained to him that Daddy and I would be leaving, and I saw the message register on his face…that “a-ha!” moment I will never forget. He ran over to me yelling, “Mommy, Mommy!” and clung to my leg (something he never does). Hot tears sprang to my eyes. I tried to stop them, but there was no way. I would’ve had a better shot at clicking my heels together three times and losing twenty pounds.
I managed to remain Mommyesque so Alex would follow my lead, but lost it as soon as I was out of his sight. Dignity is overrated. The receptionist gave me a knowing smile–at least that’s what I think I saw through my mascara haze–and my husband walked me out, blubbering away, trying to quietly reassure me that Alex would be okay. I also ran into a group of Mommies (not literally, I wiped my eyes enough to see immediately in front of me) who had already been through the torment of leaving their babies for the first time, and they were amazingly supportive. But, again, it still hurt.After today, I am pretty sure I could solve the world’s peace problems in four hours–or, at the very least, get Kim and Kris to hammer out a divorce agreement so Kimye can get hitched. Four free hours seems like eternity for someone who hasn’t peed without an audience in a couple of years.
I was smart, if I do say so myself, and brought lots of stuff to keep myself busy after I left my son. I took dresses to the tailor for some Puerto Rican TLC, bags that needed to be returned to the mall, and exercised my credit card during a self-pity shopping spree. Even so, I suffered from empty car seat syndrome running from errand to errand, and I spent my last half-hour of freedom stalking Alex’s joint. I drove up and down side streets aimlessly, until I gave in and pulled into the school parking lot fifteen minutes early. A quick email and Facebook check ate up another seven minutes or so. But that was it…I had to go in.
My little man was at the door when I peeked in on him. He didn’t see me, but I saw him, and his sweet face. I waited for a moment so I could copy what the other Mommies did (I had no clue if we walked in to get them, or they came out), and, finally, got my baby. He yelled, “Mommy! Mommy!”, this time with a smile. I was so happy to hold him, and he hugged me tight. I felt like a celebrity walking to the car.
I asked Alex how school was and he answered, “Crying, crying” (I checked on him during his stint and his teacher said he carried on for a half-hour before he got distracted by having fun, and she posted 100 pictures today to prove it ). Still, his answer tore at my heartstrings. We both cried today, and it hurts. Actually, knowing he cried for me and I wasn’t there stings.
How long does it take for kids to fully adjust to going to school? Alex is going for half-days–starting with two days per week–but will soon be there five days per week. How long will it hurt?
***In honor of my beloved boy, I made some Strawberry Shortcake (which would also make a nice 4th of July dessert). Have a wonderful holiday, everyone, and, please, give me a click! Just one click counts as a vote–it’s very easy, I promise. It won’t hurt at all!***
1 cup butter, softened
1 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 cup sour cream
1 pint fresh strawberries
Whipped cream (I always make my own–worth the extra step of whipping cream and Confectioner’s sugar together)
Heat oven to 325 degrees. Butter the loaf pan; set aside. Using an electric mixer, beat butter with sugar for 7 minutes or until very light and fluffy. Beat in eggs, one at a time, beating for 1 minute in between each addition. Beat in vanilla.
In a separate bowl, combine flour, baking powder and salt. Using a wooden spoon, stir half of the flour mixture into butter mixture. Stir in sour cream and then remaining flour mixture. Scrape batter into prepared pan. Bake for 60 to 70 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean.
Let cool in pan on a rack for 30 minutes. Remove from pan and let cool completely. Slice cake. Spoon strawberries over each slice (Mommy Dish tip you can sweeten the strawberries with a little sugar and let them sit for a little while at room temperature to create a little juice). Top with whipped cream.