It was raining lightly on Friday when I went to pick up the kids from school. I managed to swing by the house with time enough to spare to run in and get everyone's umbrellas.
The rain wasn't all that bad, but I know as soon as I am at the farthest point from the van, sans umbrellas, the heavens will open and we'd become a family of drowned rats. Besides, the kids love their umbrellas.
Audrey was thrilled when she saw that I had hers, and promptly opened it, brandishing it with gusto, endangering the eyesight of everyone around her.
We went for Ryan next, and his class was just letting out. I walked in and he came up to me, ready to go. "Where's my umbrella?" he asked. I held up the handle. "Right here," I said.
"Moo-om," he said, as he looked at it as though it was a bucket of snakes, "that's not mine." "Yes, it is," I said, holding it out to him. He wouldn't take it. I held the dinosaur handle up and showed him: "See?" He sighed a little, exasperated. "Mom. I thought you were getting me a new one." "There's nothing wrong with this one, it's just a little small," I insisted, again thrusting it towards him. "That's not mine. I can't carry that..." he said, a wrinkle across his nose, disgust on his face as he announced disdainfully, almost haughtily, "...it's childish."
What are you, 35? Childish?? I stifled a giggle. "I will look for one like Ben's over the weekend," I promised.
(Ben's is plain black, and quite grown up. Audrey has a pink Littlest Pet Shop one. Mine? It's an enormous rainbow paneled mombrella, and if I opened it strategically, I could use it as a weapon.)
Sigh. I remember when I bought two dinosaur umbrellas and a Teenage Mutant Ninja turtle one too, and it seems like yesterday. Now when the older boys hold them, I resist the urge to hand them a drink to stick them in, they look that small in their hands.
I handed it to him anyway. "Just use if for now," I pleaded. "Fine," he agreed, "But only for today."
As he walked out of the room, I looked at his teacher, who had caught most of the exchange and stifled a giggle of her own at "childish."
"Have a nice weekend," I said.
I couldn't help myself, I added:
"He'll be reporting to school on Monday in a smoking jacket and ascot."
There are times when I wonder if he's ever going to stop acting like "the baby".
And then there are times when he's the oldest nine year old I know.