Madeline is in fifth grade. I was taking her to school and, while backing out the driveway, I thought how beautiful the peonies looked, soft raspberry petals with a cream colored middle, still moist from the rain the night before.
Inspiration hit: “Why not take a flower to your English teacher,” I ask Madeline, “it would be nice to share them.” (And it wouldn’t hurt to go along with the email I just sent her teacher that this month’s reading log is lost, I thought to myself.)
I took the scissors from the center console — yes, I keep scissors in my car. They are invaluable when you need to remove a new toy from that pesky new packaging or a price tag from a new piece of clothing that Maddie can’t wait until she gets home to wear… or I suppose they would also come in handy to impede a carjacking.
So Maddie selected just the right flower, and off we drove. I kept telling her to stop twirling it around or all the beautiful raspberry colored petals would fall off. When we got to the door of the school, she suddenly realized her navy blue pants were soaked, I guess from the rain drops that had looked so pretty on the flowers! Sorry, we don’t have time to go home for you to change. Now the tears come. “Everyone will think I (sob) peed my pants. And they are all (sob) wet and they feel awful. And I’m going to look so (sob, sob) stupid carrying this stupid flower. Why did you tell me to bring this?”
Okay, I admit it. It was tough raising my kids, but now I am even older and dumber than I was then. I am two generations away from my granddaughter. Why did I think it would be a good idea for an eleven-year-old to show up at school carrying a flower for her teacher? This is fifth grade — when looking cool is everything! I have to keep reminding myself that she is growing up and I make a mental note to myself to try to think a little less “old”.
Well, Madeline, I hope your pants dry soon and that your teacher likes the peony, which in the end, you did grab out of the car as you were getting out. Maybe you thought it wasn’t such a bad idea after all.