So a few days ago (maybe it was longer), I was taking Sam for his first day of Kindergarten. I was so proud of myself. I didn’t cry like some of the other sniveling moms who just couldn’t let their babies go. I was happy for him. I was excited for him to have a new experience, learn new things and make new friends. First day of Kindergarten…no problem. Then, a few weeks later I was dropping him off at school. He hopped out of the car, slung his backpack around onto his shoulders and walked away from the car. And for some reason, I lost it. He looked so grown up. He was so comfortable in his new surroundings, and he didn’t even look back for comfort. I cried so much I had to go home and redo my mascara before I went to work.
This week I dropped him off for his last day of middle school. He slung the backpack around one more time, and just like that…my kid is in high school.
Lately, Sam has really been impressing me. Here’s an example.
As we all know, Sam lives and breathes baseball. We’re in full swing around here, between Sam’s team and Andrew coaching Ayub’s team. Things are pretty busy. But Sam heard that they needed some extra umpires for the U8 league (which is where Ayub plays). On his own, with no encouragement from us, he emailed the director of the program and told him he would be willing to help out with umpiring, as long as it didn’t interfere with his game schedule. A few days later he was late getting home. When I asked him where he’d been, he told me he’d gone to his interview. That’s right, he rode his bike after school to a job interview. And while he isn’t old enough to be paid for umpiring, he was put into the rotation.
That showed some initiative, which is something to be proud of. But there’s more. Andrew and I both told him about “good” umpires we’d liked when he was that age. You know the ones. They help the kids understand, they help the coaches the coach. They are like an extra person to help, not just to call kids out. We told him these stories, then sent him out to ump his first game. (By the way, he rides his bike to these gigs, because we can’t handle one more drop off and pick up in a week.) A few days later, Andrew was talking to one of his peers (another poor schmuck who got roped into coaching). She told him that Sam had been the umpire at her son’s game. She sang his praises and told Andrew that he had suggested one of the kids use a lighter bat. They tried it and the kid got a hit. We’ve since heard from another coach who said he did a great job and was really helpful to the coaches.
I’m not surprised, because Sam is a great kid who loves baseball and wants everyone else to love it, too. But when you hear back from other parents that your kid is the rockstar of the U8 umping rotation, you get a little lump in your throat. Because that little Kindergartner with the backpack has turned into an actual, real grown up. High school…here we come.