Island Girl starts high school this year and her school is having a "get familiar" event yesterday, today and tomorrow. They go for a few hours and learn their way around the school, learn about the clubs and activities and meet some of their classmates. It's been really good for her because this is a big school and getting familiar with the place will help her feel a little more at ease on the first day of school. I dropped her off yesterday morning and as I was driving home it hit me that I am the parent of a high school kid. How on earth did that happen? How did my little baby girl get so big so fast? I swear it seems like I just brought her home from the hospital last week. After I got over the "my baby's growing up too fast" thing I started thinking that I can't possibly be old enough to have a kid in high school! I mean really - how did that happen? I still remember my first day of high school and now I have a daughter getting ready for her first day. Of course this could explain why I felt so old around the mothers in the Youngest Island Boy's kindergarten class LOL We were at a class function for him right before school let out and the Island King was asking about some of the other parents. He said something about so many older brothers and sisters being there and I said "Honey, those aren't older brothers and sisters - those are the parents" It was scary looking around and realizing that we are old enough to be the parents of the parents LOL Obviously we weren't young when we started having kids but looking back I wouldn't change that. We waited 7 years after we got together to start our family and we spent that 7 years playing in the Keys, taking wild road trips and basically having a LOT of fun LOL The thing is that most days I still feel like that 22 year old girl - not a 43 year old mother of a high school kid. Well, until we stay out too late and I need 3 days to recover instead of being able to get up the next morning and do it all over again LOL So I was feeling old and a little depressed that my baby is growing up so fast - but then I stopped at the Jr Store on my way home and got flirted with by a guy in a truck and that made me feel a lot better.
Shallow but true LOL
And then... Tomorrow is the last day of the high school event and there is a parent's meeting and pizza party at noon. The Island King has a shoot but Island Girl doesn't want her brothers to come to the meeting so they'll be going with their dad. His shoot is over in Panama City and since my van gets better gas mileage than his truck he'll drive the van and I'll have the truck. Hmm. Sounds like the perfect opportunity for me to take the truck up into the Reservation and do a little geocaching after I drop her off and before I have to go to the meeting. I mentioned that to Island Girl this morning and she got a horrified look on her face and said "Oh Mom, don't do that!" Well why not? I'll have 4 hours to kill and the truck so why not go caching? It turns out that she's afraid I'll wear my caching in the woods clothes to her meeting. Eglin Reservation is HUGE and the woods are thick and dense and most of the caches up there require some serious bushwacking to get to. So
when I go I wear the Island King's cammo pants because they have lots of pockets and they hold up well when I'm bushwacking through the woods. I also wear a wide brimmed hat because a lot of the time you just have to put your head down and plow through the underbrush and I really don't like bugs or spiders getting in my hair. And I wear a big knife and a machete strapped to my belt because how else do you blaze a trail? And I'm a woman alone in the middle of the woods and you never know when you'll need a big knife LOL In other words, when I'm in the woods I'm prepared. Island Girl tells me that it's been a little embaraassing when I've arrived to pick her up from things after I've been in the woods. She says that the other moms all show up in their nice little cars or vans, dressed in cute little outfits and then here I come, roaring in, in dad's truck, looking like wood's woman LOL Or I show up fresh from the beach, wearing a tank top and shorts over my bathing suit, smelling like salt and sun screen, with sand on my feet. "Rarely do you look like the other moms" she says. I asked her if she's really embarrassed by me and she said that it's not too bad but that there have been times when her friends have commented that I'm not like their moms at all. Well sheesh. I would have taken the machete and knife off of my belt before I came to the meeting tomorrow LOL "Can't you just drive around and find grab-n-go caches and pick up some from the local parks?" she asked. I asked her why that would be different and she pointed out that I wear normal clothes for that kind of caching LOL Well, I can't pass up the opportunity for a morning in the woods but I did promise to bring a change of clothes and to try and look "normal" when I get to the meeting.
So here it is, not even noon, and I've realized that I'm old, I have a kid starting high school, and I don't look or act like the other moms. Hmmph.
I'm going outside now to paint the pots my tomatoes live in purple. Why fight it?
I might be odd now but in ten years I'll be considered eccentric LOL