He was ignoring me.
He was actually ignoring me.
No matter that I gave him life or that I let him watch the movie Cars more times than I care to remember when he was younger.
He had ducked behind a friend when he had first entered the room, had given me a quick wave and then....nothing.
“Big brother, big brother,” Natalie shouted. “Big brother, it’s me, Natalie!”
Is it wrong that I sort of wanted to shout the same thing? Only my words would have been, “Son, son, it’s me, your mother, the one who was in labor all those hours!”
We were at an awards assembly at Tommy’s school since he brought home a letter saying that he’d be receiving an award. He had handed over the letter and went, “Are you coming then?” I asked if he wanted me to come and he said, “Yes.”
So we came. And now he was ignoring us.
“Big BROTHER!” Natalie will not be ignored. She’s like that crazy chick in Fatal Attraction, only I hope she doesn’t boil any rabbits. (“I won’t be IGNORED, Tommy!”)“BIG BROTHER!”
Tommy turned around and narrowed his eyes at Natalie.
“Big brother, hello!” Natalie said, thrilled that she finally had his attention.
He quickly faced forward.
Fine. Whatever. So he wanted to pretend like he had no mother. Big deal, right? He’s eight, he’s at that age and....WHY WAS HE IGNORING ME? He’s only 8! I thought that behavior didn’t start until he was a teenager. I make him smiley face pancakes for God’s sake, all I was asking for is a tiny bit of recognition, just a tiny bit.
Oh well. At least I still had one child who liked me. I started rubbing the top of Natalie’s head and she ducked away. “Quit it,” she hissed.
Or maybe not.
The principal started the program, and the kindergarteners got their awards first.
“Mommy, I want to go to Kindergarten now,” Natalie said primly.
“Two more years,” I answered.
“But I want to go to Kindergarten nowwwwww,” she whined.
“Can’t, Veruca Salt, sorry,” I said.
My butt was really starting to hurt since it was sitting on the lunchroom benches. If we could afford private school, I bet THOSE seats had cushions on them.
Tommy’s grade was the last to go and by then my ass had fallen asleep.
Tommy got an Observant Scientist Award. I’m not surprised, because the kid loves science and is obsessed with tornados. And weather. He’ll say things like, “Look at the cumulus clouds!” and go in depth on how a tornado is formed.
The principal also asked him questions. I’m amazed that Tommy doesn’t mind talking in front of people. I hate it. I start to get all red and my tongue feels glued to the top of my mouth. I dreaded giving speeches in front of my class and would speed through it. If we were being graded on public speaking, the teacher’s notes would always say: “Slow down.” No. I cannot slow down.
But Tommy. Tommy proudly went over to the microphone and when the teacher asked how the weather was that day, Tommy went, “Warm.” And this was true, it was actually 50 degrees on Friday. Then she asked if we’d be getting snow and Tommy cocked his head to the side, thought about it for a few seconds and went, “Maybe.”
He’s a man of few words.
When the ceremony was over, the kids were able to quickly greet their parents and hand over their awards. Tommy seriously ran over, tossed the award at my face and returned to his class. It was like he hadn’t been there at all.
“Um,” I said when my mind computed what had just happened.
“Where did Tommy go?” Natalie asked, bewildered.
My sentiments exactly.
I spotted him back in line with his class. I wasn’t about to leave without a hug so I went over and Tommy’s eyes grew wide when he saw me approaching.
I couldn’t embarrass him in front of his friends. That would be mean. So instead I stuck my hand out.
“I wanted to say congrats on getting the scientist award,” I said, all businesslike.
Tommy looked relieved and shook my hand. “You’re welcome,” he replied.
“I will see you when you get home.”
“Okay. I love you,” Tommy said.
Aww! He admitted that he loved me in public. I wanted to throw my arms around his neck but I contained myself.
“I love you, too, my science boy.”