Tonight was back to school night. Instead of being the kid sitting at home wondering what in the world your teacher might have to say to your parents, I was the parent. It wasn't parent-teacher conference night, although some parents took the chance to drill the teacher about their kids. That night comes in January. This was come see what we do and ask any questions you might have as long as it doesn't require an indepth anaylis of your child because we've only been in session for a month. Like I said, that didn't stop some folks.
We made our way to the the board of photos taken during Tuesday's class. Word of advice - if you want your child to stand out in group photos, dress him in a shirt with wide stripes. As we scanned the photos to get a glimpse of Logan in action, Bruce said "This is weird, huh?"
"Being here? Having him be old enough that we go to back-to-school night."
It was weird. It was new. Dropping him off for his classes was one thing. Being completely grown-up enough to be at a back-to-school night, was another. Yet my first thought was how odd it felt that *I* was old enough and grown-up enough to be there in that role. It didn't really sink in that my child was now a real *student* of sorts until Bruce said something.
When we got home a short time later, the kids and Grandma were just making their way in from the yard. Logan was yanking off his sweatshirt with some help and in the process managed to remove both tops from his body. He stood there shirtless, grinning to see us return. I smiled back at him, holding the self-portrait he'd made in class the day before.
The portraits had been lined up on the window sill and we were to figure out which one was our child's. Each one had to answer the question "My favorite part about school is. . ." and the teacher had written their answers down for them. The first pass through I wasn't sure I could actually narrow down the brightly colored abstract art. The second time I looked more closely. I reached out for a page, pulled back the top sheet from the blue construction paper it was stapled to. I handed it to Bruce with a "I knew it!"
The crayon colored Logan had a long, thin blue body with no arms. Two straight lines represented his legs and two varying sized circles were his feet. A circle sat on the body with two smaller circles - also in blue - floating inside. Only two parts of that picture were not blue; bright red scrawling lines sat atop the circle and a red line floated below the two little circles.
Bruce asked how I knew this was the right one. "It's got red hair see? And he told me that he had to draw a picture of himself and he used blue for his eyes. Besides it says his favorite part of school is jumping on the playground."
"Where do you think his arms got lost to?" asked Bruce.
"He's jumping. He only needs legs," I pointed out.
At home, Logan saw his picture in my hand. He smiled wider. "I made that for you at school! It's me!" I looked at him the same way I had studied the portraits just a short time before. Really looked. He suddenly looked so big. This child that can still look so very small in a group of children older than himself, suddenly looked so very big to me. He looked long and lean. So very different than the one-year-old standing next time still half in her cat costume we hadn't taken off her when our Halloween party had ended just hours before.
When they were both tucked safely in bed, I settled in to my spot on the couch. Bruce had flipped on the baseball game after making sure I wasn't going to miss any programming I had wanted to watch that night. "Not until 9," I told him.
The game played in the background and I let my mind wonder. How remarkable it is the extent at which a child changes in two relatively short years. It's something that crosses my mind quite a bit lately as I watch my two imps play together. I observe Meg explore the world the way only a one-year old can and pull up bits of memory seeing Logan do the same things. It always makes me marvel at how much he's already grown even though the road before him is still so long.
Tonight it also meant, thought, that I had grown quite a bit in the last 3 years. It's different being somebody's mom when it's a doctor visit or a playdate. Somehow being "Logan's mom" at school or amongst his classmates takes away all doubt that you've hit 'real' adult status.