I was really looking forward to this day. I usually try to volunteer at my son's school at least twice a year. And, well, with this being the last year of grade school, I wanted to cherish my final moments as a chaperone.
Eli and I both arrived at his school a little before 8:00 am. As soon as he stepped into the classroom....he ignored me. I decided to keep my space and wait outside with another fellow parent (chaperone) to give him some space. One thing I noticed for about 6 years of chaperoning when meeting other parents was that the introduction at the school campus goes a little like this: "Hi I'm [insert daughter's or son's name here] parent" Don't bother even saying the name given to you at birth. Because, really, no one cares. It's not important. Guess that's basic school volunteer etiquette.
The 78 passenger yellow school bus arrives. I stand next to Eli hoping that I can sit with him. He ignores me again. I end up sitting next to Mary Anne's mother in the freakin' front of the bus right behind the bus driver. It wasn't my choice but she was the only one willingly to sit beside me. Even I know, that's the suckiest place to sit. Behind the bus driver?! Really?! You might as well put me in some metal braces and a head gear! Total loser status. I should know. I was a kid once in my life. Behind me was Grant's father. Yeah, so don't know his real name either. He must be a regular school volunteer because all the kids talked to him. I wanted to be Grant's father. Can I be a cool parent today? Nope. Why? Because I'm sitting in the front of the bus. *sigh* So during the entire trip, I kept looking back at Eli to make sure he was doing OK. That's pretty much all I can do at that point. Boo...
Inside of Davies Symphony Hall
We finally arrive at San Francisco. We form a single line as soon as we get out of the bus. I catch Eli with his friend Ariel. I'm like yay! We'll get to sit next to each other during the performance. I ask my son politely if I can sit next to him. He doesn't answer. I ask again. He tunes me out. Ugh! I then tugged on his sweater vest. "I'm going to sit with you, OK?", with a firm voice. He gives me that look. Nothing comes out of his damn mouth. Minutes later, he says, "Can you sit next to Ariel?" I'm like WTF! "Uh NO!", I say. "I'm your mom!" Guess that doesn't matter for a fifth grader. I finally gave him his way so that he may continue to be the cool dude. I'm hurt by now. I ended up sitting next to Felix NOT Ariel. Felix didn't seem that excited about sitting beside me. Neither was little Chinese dude to my left. I felt so unwanted by then. At least, I forced him into taking one picture with his friends. He so didn't want me to, but as soon as Ariel agreed, Eli went along with it. Aww...look what my camera phone captured? Eli's first smile of the day during my presence.
From left to right - Ariel, Eli, Felix
Throughout the performance, I was totally in a daze. I was day dreaming and reminiscing about the good old days. I remember when he was in Kindergarten, he'd always want to hold my hand. After around the 3rd grade, holding hands was out of the question. But he still would want to make sure I sat with him during the bus rides. 4th grade, he still wanted me around. Around to lug all his brown bag lunch and jacket. Now, he didn't even want me to be there! I had to stay at least 6 feet away. Like hold up right quick! All of a sudden, he has a restraining order against his mother?! The one who gave birth to him?! It was more bitter than sweet. I was hurt. My baby is growing up. He no longer is dependent on me. Can I go home now? Somebody please pick me up for the Davies Symphony Hall and bring me to work. Somewhere, I know I am wanted.
Once the performance ended, we headed back to the school bus. I paid no attention to Eli. He paid no attention to me. I did my own thing. He did his. We returned back to school and as soon as we got out of the bus, Eli finally noticed me. Yay!! "Mommy, you can go now..." No yay.
Anyway, a heads up for all you future chaperones or parents of younger children. Cherish your moments while they are young. Don't! I repeat don't bother going to a field trip once they hit 5th grade. The only exception is if they
ask BEG you to. I don't want you to go through what I've just been through today - Unloved. *sad face*