Maybe its because I re-read the Great Gatsby again in anticipation of viewing the less than Great, more like mediocre, movie version this week. Or maybe, its because three blinks ago, I was planning my wedding and on the fourth blink I’m a mom to three and have been married for much longer than it feels. Whatever the reason, this time thing, even when the minutes are long and it seemingly takes several years to reach nap time everyday, is fast, and since, as Mr. Leonardo stylishly, yet sort of shallowly reminds, we can’t repeat the past, I’d like to pause during today’s nap time, to recount all of James’ big firsts this week because he’ll be in college in what will feel like tomorrow, and the struggles of carrying three little people across the parking lot before he pulls down his pants to pee or runs in front of moving vehicles, will be the flickering green light of parking lots past.
Upon picking him up for his very last day, for the very first time, his teacher greeted me saying, “James made very good choices today.” No matter that it took all year for him to share the toy truck and hold back from tackling whomever he feels like tackling, he made good choices, and I’m proud. The finger paintings and paper kites made in that school are my treasures, even if he threw several tantrums because paper kites don’t actually fly no matter how hard or fast you repeatedly run them back and forth cross the lawn. I know pre-pre Kindergarden isn’t a real grade, and the only thing in his backpack was a pair of clean clothes in case he peed his pants. Nevertheless, he did it!
As a celebratory congratulations, we took him on a steak dinner date at the new Brazilian steak place. His awe began at being the only kid in the row of three carseats, and continued when he had free access to a steak knife and tongs. The red light, green light for more meat concept was less impressive than promised, as the churrascos tend to rely on what mom and dad say, but, collecting and taking home those cards was a dream souvenir to a evening full of three year old fantasy. Pappy confused him by throwing bread and napkins, because throwing things at dinner is not allowed, but Pappy, just like Josie, does whatever he wants to make people laugh. His belly full of steak waddled on out of there with confidence and croc-wearing swagger. He only mildly freaked out when the valet guy ran away with our car keys because the concept of a stranger running away with car keys that aren’t his is something that I probably should have explained. Then, he learned that he would be go to his first ever Pens game, during the play offs, which is an expensive way of entering the world of attending professional sports, but, he learned the terms power play and breakaway, which is surely worth lots and lots of dollars.
I was a little nervous to take him to a game, because, he, like a lot of others, thinks that his dad is Sidney Crosby, and that’s a dream I have been reluctant to clarify. Yet, now that he’s seen the real Sidney, next to his dad that looks just like him except he still has a real jaw, I think he’s just as happy. He cheered Let’s Go Pens so loud I almost made his stop. A very nice man gave him a Penguins practice puck, and I pretended not to notice that I was on the jumbotron. He had ice cream and danced without any rhythm because he has my genes and sweet tooth. He refers to the penalty box as “time out” because thats where he goes when he makes his sister bleed. He stayed awake three hours past his bed time and fell asleep with his practice puck in hand, white towel under his pillow. Thanks for the victory and the memory, Penguins.