Monday. People dread Monday. My son, my husband, both back to their weekly grinds after being free for two wonderful days.
I worked this weekend. I’m off today. This is my Saturday. Tomorrow is my Sunday, but I can still empathize with my son’s hesitance to go back to school today.
The sky is grey. Blue tries hard to peek through. Fails.
It rained last night, the world still wet this morning. I grab umbrellas, just in case. My son takes his, pretends it is a pogo stick. He pretends to be Scrooge McDuck from the DuckTales video game he loves to play. He uses it to poke in a puddle, then hands it to me to carry.
He sings a song about the days of the month. We are under an old oak tree. Its branches spread far, far out. Water falls from it.
“I can see water falling down! Is it raining?”
“No baby. It was raining, but the trees are still wet. Water is falling out of the trees.”
Crosswalk. Crossing guard. I say good morning. He wiggles his but and roars like a monster. He keeps holding my hand even though we’ve already crossed the street. He never does that.
“What will you learn at school today?”
“We learn different things, and people’s clips get moved off and everything.”
“You really worry about those clips don’t you?”
They have a behavior chart, with clips that move up and down. On his very first day of school ever he had his clip moved down. It traumatized him. He is fixated on those silly clips.
A flock of birds fly overhead. They swirl one way. They swirl another. They seem to fly off, but they come back.
He stands still, looking up at the sky, mouth wide open. I’m struck by how thin and delicate he is. I reach out and touch his unruly hair.
“Are they going to find a nest in a tree or not?” he asks about the birds.
“I don’t know sugar.”
We walk into school, to his class. He grabs his book bag, hugs me, goes inside. I hear a classmate say “Hey Parker!” I hear his teacher ask, “Did you have a good weekend?”
I pause a second to wonder how long it will be before he is too old for me to hug. He sees me still standing there. Waves. I wave back.
And start the walk back home.