Yesterday, when our son came from backstage after the 5thgrade performance of Hello Shakespeare, he beamed. A look of joyful pride I’d never seen in him before. Not ever.
And grinning ear-to-ear, he hugged me as if his emotion was too great not to share.
It’s been a tough school year. Academically. Mostly socially. Many days, he comes home quiet. Goes to his room to draw maps or write in his journal.
I keep thinking that he just needs to feel good at something. Some positive feedback coming from the universe.
Then yesterday, he was a natural Will Shakespeare. A fun-loving ham. As the curtain closed, and the other kids headed off stage, he remained, tossing his bowler hat in the air, smiling at the audience, soaking it in, drawing the moment out a few more seconds.
The happiest, I think, he has ever been.
At least for a day, he found his world’s the stage.
“Mom,” he said on Wednesday when I called to make sure our 16-year-old was home safely, “you’re going to be sooooo mad at me.”
My heart skipped a beat. “What happened?”
“Well, my APUSH teacher doesn’t believe in giving an exam after you take the AP Test, so…”
“…he always gives it early, and….”
“I forgot. It was on Monday.”
All those high school stress dreams flashed through my head. Showing up on exam day having not studied. Never having shown up to class. Can’t find the classroom. Wearing only underwear. “You forgot an exam?”
“It was fine.”
“I got an A.”
His brother, hearing the story later, looked at him like he had two heads. And horns. “You forgot you had an exam? How does that happen?”
Apparently, this teenager missed the memo about his “anxiety-ridden” generation… oh, yeah, the one about the exam too.
Powder days on the mountain, my husband gets everyone up early so the boys can get first in line at the chair lift. I thought it was about the feel of your skis, invisible to you, gliding under deep snow.
But today was a bluebird day. The sky Easter egg blue. Not a cloud to be seen. Sunny, warm. It’s been snowing for weeks.
I took a long walk that criss-crossed the stream, through the village, down quiet roads lined with aspens and open fields of untouched snow – golf courses in another month.
Untouched snow that draws you in. Be the first, it whispers to you. Be the only. Ever.
Because I am beautiful, and I will melt soon.
New fallen snow is one of the only places on earth where no one has been or touched before.
I couldn’t help myself. First tracks. Wrote my name in the snow. First and only.
They were calling it “snowmageddon” days before it hit. And days after we spent hours trying to avoid “avalanche activity”. So, the snow day was called early. As students headed to after-school practices and rehearsals the day before its arrival, a roar of joy rang through the halls.
I was there. It was loud. But I missed seeing my own kids get the news they spent all winter waiting for.
Yesterday, they had already proclaimed the snow day a great one. Survived skiing the jump they built midway down a short hill that ends in a creek. Played a two-hour game of Risk. Drank hot chocolate.
Then just before dinner, our ninth grader started screaming, jumping around the kitchen, arms flapping. An email from his math teacher regarding “a second snow day” was followed immediately by a text from the District. Power outages. Slick parking lots. State of emergency.
This time, I witnessed their response.
Two teenage boys playing air guitar. Belting out Queen’s “We Are the Champions.”
Our 11-year-old son’s 2019 New Year’s Resolution was to run on the treadmill two days a week, and to lift weights three days. As we enter month two of 2019, he has hit the treadmill three or four times, and the weights two or three.
Definitely more than his 2018 totals.
So he stood at the side of our bed, shirtless, potbelly touching the bedspread, and grinned proudly, “my six-pack is starting.”