And it turned one's mind to foster care. You know? What about foster care? Just a weekend. I could pretend to be high, and then pull myself together real quick. I know some good families taking foster kids right now.
But it turned out to be Coyote's First Grade Musical night. Why do they always plan these things for after he needs a haircut and right before he gets one?! Not this time: I subjected that kid to the fastest, crookest shave possible. It was like a sheep sheering contest and when it was done I flung up my hands and looked for the score cards to show my standing. He'll need a secondary trim this evening. But at least we could see his eyes. The hair in front of them was gone and I hadn't poked them out, even though he was sure I would and squirmed enough to make it likely.
And then we got in the car and they fought the whole way to school, where we met Huck, and I buried my head in his chest and begged him to take me far from here. But instead we went in and sat on folding chairs which looked like they might spontaneously fulfill their mission while you were using them.
And suddenly: there was Coyote, gleaming in his white button down shirt, tucked in to gray pants, and goofing off like crazy with all his friends. Coyote, as you might glean from his name, is a rabble rouser. Every time I see that kid at school, he's organizing some rebellion or sneak attack. I was so proud and so smiley that my teeth and lips dried up and I got stuck open. There! YES! That is the reward! Watching your son push his teacher's buttons and create mayhem among the children. THAT, my friends, is the pay off. I was so glad to see he had friends. It's been a long, hard struggled and he won.
And then they stood up there on the risers and sang Rhyme-in-Time plus a bunch of Raffi songs which the people behind us found hilarious and I was thinking "Um... haven't we all just spent the past six years singing these ad nauseum until we long for death to all our senses, in particular our hearing?" But "O loke to ote ote ote opples and bononos" was knee-smacking funny in the row behind us.
And then... and then... I saw all those kids up there... in their Sunday best... smiling and singing their hearts out. And I saw all these weddings, and births, and funerals, and graduations, and firsts and lasts, all the big big moments. A lifetime of big moments for all 65 kids up there. And I just fell apart. I wept. I am not one for the weeping. But it was so intense and overwhelming and beautiful and perfect and sad and simply amazing. I tried to hold it together. I choked down my louder sobs. But the rush of emotion was so intense, the tears just shoved their way out, rammed down the walls of my stubborn Dutch stoicism and poured down my cheeks.
And Oh! There was Coyote. Happy incarnate. And clean. I could see his eyes. His freckles. His perfect soul reaching for the high notes.
|Check out that bow!|
And then it was over. Some kid barfed, of course. And we all went home.
And I felt as mercurial as the spring weather. Sunshine now. Storms again. And then a long long rain (or snow, whatever, it's supposed to be rain).
As I tucked him in to bed, he says, "Wasn't that a great concert, mom?" "Oh yes." "Didn't I do a great job, mom?" "Oh yes." "I really liked that." "Me too."