I'm a horrible person. And last week I outdid myself. Let me explain….
Last week my kids started a new school. We moved last spring – not very far – but like any major change, I knew it would be scary. So I was excited when at the beginning of the summer, my son Ben was invited to a party for a friend who would be at his new school. He couldn’t wait to meet his new classmates. Well, whom should he encounter at this party but Ben’s Old Preschool Nemesis ("BOPN," as I'll refer to him).
“Who holds a grudge from preschool?” I'll tell you who... Ben. And seeing the two boys lay eyes on each other at the party was like watching The Joker and Batman see each other unmasked and discovering the other’s true identity.
Ben freaked out and wanted to leave. I encouraged Ben to consider that BOPN and he were older and "more mature." All their history could be water under the sand table. But then there was some kind of scuffle on the trampoline and Ben didn't fare well. By the end of the party, rumors were flying that BOPN said Ben “should watch out next year" and Ben became obsessed with the fact BOPN was going to be at his new school. He worried about it -- all... summer... long. And guess who listened to his fears -- all... summer... long.
So when we drove to school for their first day, Ben was a nervous wreck. And so was I.
We walked to the front of school where the class rosters were posted. We checked out Izzy's new class - WOO HOO - A friend from preschool was with her! Livi's class? SCORE! Another friend was in her class. Then we checked Ben's class. He didn’t have any close friends at his new school, so I pointed out the FIRST positive thing I noticed…
"LOOK! BOPN ISN'T IN YOUR CLASS! PUT IT THERE!!!" And we high-fived with a huge sigh of relief.
Who knew BOPN’s mother was standing behind me? I went through my whole day having no idea she’d overheard the whole thing.
That afternoon I spotted BOPN's mom in the hall. She and I were never close friends, but I always thought she was nice. I figured this was the perfect opportunity to become friendly. Who knew, maybe we would become friends and we could get the boys to overcome whatever seemed to polarize them. So, I said "Hi! How was your first day?"
She said, "I have an issue..."
She proceeded to tell me how she had overheard my entire conversation with Ben and I could see she was devastated.
I felt like I had just run her over with my car. I was horrified. I hadn't meant to hurt her. Like a texting driver my mind was just somewhere else when her body went under my wheels.
I had been so wrapped up in my own son’s fear that by the time we got to school, all I could think about was making it all better for Ben. Every mom wants to see their child happy, right?
Well, I was wrong. And I accepted responsibility for my actions. I apologized, I groveled, and I explained - hoping that if she understood what I had been living with all summer, it might help take away a bit of the sting.
But it didn't.
I hurt another mom. A mom with her own set of fears - just trying to help her own child get off to a good start for the school year.
I can't take back what happened. I wish I could. But it reminds me that we're all just trying to do the best we can. Motherhood can be overwhelming and sometimes we forget we’re all parenting "in tandem." We're all driving on the highway of Life and there are lots of cars on the road.
Unfortunately, on the way to our desired destination, sometimes we run each other over.
From now on, I’m going to stop texting…and check my rearview mirrors.
Can you relate?
Sarah Maizes is a freelance writer, comedian, and author of “Got Milf? The Modern Mom’s Guide to Feeling Fabulous, Looking Great and Rocking a Minivan.”(Check out her HILARIOUS book trailer on YouTube). You can follow her daily musings at and The Center for Milfology on Facebook.http://www.MommyLITEonline.com