Two days into the new academic year, and so far I have to say things have progressed pretty smoothly. (Whoo hoo! Only a hundred-seventy-eight more of these to go!) Let's see...no one's missed a bus. Everyone's remembered their lunch. Important papers have been signed and sent back in a timely fashion. Yep, we've got this whole "school thing" handled. (Okay, okay...at least for right this minute...)
When asked to report on their impressions so far, the boys were fairly blase in their narration. Riley's remarks were limited to things like "I need a bigger backpack, because it took me FIVE MINUTES to stuff my binder in!" (Delivered in an emphatically aggrieved tone, of course...) Then there was: "I might have to report someone on the bus for singing Jay-Z." In further discussing this, I learned that the potential troublemaking student in question was in fact "bleeping out the bad words...but you could still tell what they are!" which seemed to offend Riley's tender sensibilities. (We decided that although the boy's choice might be in questionable taste, since he wasn't actually cursing, Riley didn't have to feel obligated to turn him in. Whew, first crisis of his Patrol career, solved! Or avoided....whatever...)
Derek voiced several complaints in the early going as well, the first being "my bus is so crowded you have to sit three to a seat...so I'll definitely be walking home all year." Next he lamented the fact that evidently he doesn't have classes with any of his close friends. Hoping to help him find the proverbial silver lining, I asked if he shared any classes with GF, and he replied that in fact they had four out of seven periods together. Well, that's something, right? (You can already hear the "but" coming, yeah?) So today after he arrived home and had a chance to eat his snack, I casually asked if anything "noteworthy" had occurred during his day. I snuck this in quickly, offhandedly, as he literally had one foot out the door at the time to go play basketball with a neighbor. He half-turned back, shot me a grin and sheepishly replied, "Yeah. (slight pause) I got dumped!" I just stood there, staring at him incredulously for a moment, before gathering my wits and offering, "Oh. I'm so sorry!" And I'm not kidding, he shrugged and resumed leaving the house without any further comment. "Whoa, whoa, WHOA!" I called to his retreating back, "Are you gonna tell me about it later?" "Sure," he threw over his shoulder as he disappeared, leaving me to contemplate this unexpected turn of events in stunned silence.
In truth, I had been wondering what would happen when school started up again, as GF had been away all Summer and they hadn't been able to see each other...or even converse by text. So...I guess that answered the question pretty definitively, huh? But now I confronted a new dilemma: what's a mother to do, to support her son whose very first girlfriend just broke up with him? I mean, he appeared perfectly fine--but who knows, he could be shredded on the inside. So did he need a session of hugging and crying and remembering the good times? (Um, yeah, he's NOT a girl...) Or an opportunity to vent his feelings? (See previous...) Okay, then--were we talking about an Emergency Ben & Jerry's Situation, here? I really was clueless as to what might be required...after all, I'm only familiar with what works for female-kind. And of course this being the inaugural Breakup Event, if you will, I was flying blind, I tell ya.
When he came back inside and had cleaned up, I approached him gingerly for a nice little Mother/Son exploratory inquisition--I mean "chat". And you know what? He told me that he'd spread the news to his posse at school about how he was "back in the Single Club"...and they laughed at him...which he apparently found acceptable and even entertaining. (Comforting, I suppose, belongs to the Girl Realm. Noted...) From which I can only conclude that's one way teenage boys "deal with their stuff", because Derek seemed more bemused than actually hurt (although he did admit that now the prospect of seeing her in most of his classes would be...awkward at best). And...that was all there was to it. I suppose we can chalk it up to one of those mild traumas of growing up...and of course a life lesson...and move on. However, if the beginning is any indication, 5th grade and 8th grade could hold some pretty...interesting...times in store. We'll have to wait and see--and stock up on the Ben & Jerry's, you know, just in case!