Thursday, May 10, 2012
Being the youngest means two things in our family.
1) You are your mother's baby. Even if you are big and don't resemble a baby in the least, you melt your mother's heart, you can talk her into most anything and she still wants to hold your hand in a parking lot. (I never said it was easy to be the baby in our family.)
2) No one is very concerned about the new experiences in your life. Been there. Done that.
Mark has been taking the MSP (state testing). Last weekend, he said, to no one in particular, "Well, I have something coming up in a few days."
No one responded. (See number 2.)
Finally, I took the bait. (See number 1.) "What do you mean Mark? Oh, the MSP?"
Braeden and Emma were dismissive. (See number 2.) They said, "It's no big deal," and "It will be fun."
(I distinctly remember it being a big deal, at least for me, when Braeden first went away for a day of testing. It was called the WASL back then.)
Monday night, before bed, Mark said miserably, "I'm so stressed out."
No one (see number 2) except me (see number 1) said anything. I told him not to worry about the MSP. We talked some more about it. Adam and I sent the other kids to get ready for bed and tried to reassure Mark.
The next morning, I told Adam that I didn't think it would be as hard to leave Mark at the testing site as it had been the first time I left Braeden. At that time, I had to fight back silly tears because I was leaving my boy in a new place amongst strangers and that doesn't come naturally to me. I'm all grown up now though. I send my older two to school every day. I said, "I'm sure it will be easier to leave Mark." (See number 2.)
Mark and I drove to the testing site. Our virtual academy had rented a room in a downtown church. Mark was thinking about the church I guess and he asked, "Mom, what would happen if I went in a Catholic church?"
I told him I imagined it would be the same as what would happen if a person who was Catholic came to our church. We'd try to be friendly and welcoming. We'd be glad they were there.
Mark said, "But what about Catholics and Protestants trying to kill each other?"
(This could stem from recent lessons in history about Queen Elizabeth and King James and the like.)
I told Mark that didn't happen anymore, at least not in Everett, Washington. I told him we weren't Protestants anyway. I said, "You know the Kremers are Catholic right?"
"And they're our good friends?"
It seemed like irrelevant information to him.
We arrived at the church and I took Mark inside. I signed him in. I met the teacher who would be in charge. I handed over my boy. (See number 1.) I kissed his cheek and said good-bye and good luck and then glanced a peek into his brown eyes. Mistake. (See number 1.) He looked the slightest bit apprehensive. He looked a little unsure. He looked like he was trying to be brave.
I quickly turned away and slid my sunglasses on.
Because I had a few tears in my eyes. (See number 1).
I know, I know. There's something not right about me. I will probably have to be sedated when they go to college.