I take deep breaths and mutter, "I'm ok, I'm ok" as I try to remember the techniques I heard in a Lamaze class about a century ago. How bad can it be, after all? People do it all the time. Every year. And lots of them survive. In fact, I haven't heard of any fatalities from attending the first day of Jr. High. But still I mutter and hyperventilate. Seems no amount of logic can squelch the irrational fear that had an iron grip on my breathing organs. Pressing on, I manage to drive up to Willow Creek Middle School, ready to sacrifice my first born to the wolves. He says, "Really, mom, I'm ok. You can go. You don't need to come with me." I am compelled to go in. The mother part of me thinks that if I walk through the foreboding doors with him, I will be taking some of his anxiety and pressure. He says I will give him more anxiety and pressure. He's wrong. I know. I'm the mom. As we get in the school, he begs me to leave. I tell him I will not even let on that I'm his mother. His friend goes one way to pay his lunch money, while Anthony goes up the stairs to his locker. I call up to him, "Stay with Christian!" Then I immediately cover my mouth, knowing I had just done the unthinkable. Now he is sure he will be stuffed in a locker because everyone in Jr. High now knows that he has a mother. I decide I better leave before I do more damage. After talking to someone in the office about mistakes on his schedule, I leave. As I walk to the car repeating, "I'm ok. I'm ok. Breathe. I'm ok. I'm ok," I see a student with a full on tattoo the size of my head on her arm and Las Vegas cleavage arriving 3 minutes before the rest of her. No amount of Lamaze training can help me now. I pause for a moment, wonder how bad it would be if I grab him and pull him back to the car kicking and screaming. I opt for the more obvious solution. Praying for my son and promising myself chocolate, I cry all the way to work.
Tony has started Jr. High.