I slowed to a walk, looking for the distinctive green shirt my son was wearing. Here was a rare opportunity to observe him in his native habitat. I might get a glimpse of something interesting. For, as he has told me, fifth-grade boys like other fifth-grade girls and vice versa. And there is lots of intrigue!
|I am NOT a helicopter mom. This was a total accident!|
I couldn't spot the little devil so I patrolled the playground border one more time. Then I spotted him! He was in a group of about four or five kids, smiling and talking and looking like he was holding court. Yes, this was good. I recognized one of the boys next to him. A possible ally, possible enemy. One never knew with this character. I'd have to keep a close eye on the fellow. Eldest Son looked pretty confident. He almost swaggered a bit, despite some run-ins with a chunkier bully that had caused a bit of trouble during the fifth-grade year. His long, blond, girl-magnet hair was gleaming in the sun. "Yes. Yes! Yes to never paying a barber's fees ever again!" I thought.
And! One of the girls standing next to him was the girl that he has told me he likes. She was hanging on his every word. He'd picked well. She was definitely the cutest girl in his class, in my estimation. Her back was turned to me, and I could see Eldest Son slouching and acting all cool and digging his hands in his pockets and scuffing at the gravel with the toe of his sneaker. Maybe this meant...she liked him too?? I'd pulled my headphones out of my ears in case I could hear a bit of the conversation, but the burble and cacophony on the playground blurred everything.
Then I saw one of the other girls in the group poke at Eldest Son and gesture towards me, and I read her lips: "Isn't that your MOM?" I tried to duck down but too late. Eldest Son gave me "the look" that said: "Oh good grief, what are you doing??!!" Before he could react further I shot off like a rabbit down the street, as if I'd not been on a little jog but actually a crazy, ass-burning sprint. Yeah, I'm trying to beat a personal record! I waved to him idly as I shot off down the street.
When I asked him on the walk home from school what they'd all been talking about, he simply said: "Oh god, Mom, what were you doing, anyway?"
"I was interested in seeing my son, as any mother would be! I care for your welfare and like to see how you are doing and all that! And I totally happened to be passing the school. So, um, does this mean that she likes you?"
He moved rapidly away from me, shaking his head, his backpack bouncing on his thin shoulders. "Whoo boy, mom, you really...I dunno. Mom! You are crazy," he said.