Be all that you can be

As a parent, I give myself a rating of six. Definitely a solid six.

Fine. It’s a four, okay? Are you happy that I’m completely incompetent in every aspect of my life?

[Slaps both hands to my face, wants to cry, but can only think of what’s for dinner].

As I pulled up to the school on Monday morning, I saw all these parents looking dapper in their polo shirts and khaki pants, their summer dresses and smart sandals, carrying the latest DSLR camera on their shoulders or holding their cellphones in their hands, ready to make the first day of school yet another chapter in their child’s memory book.

Parents took pictures of their kids in front of their cars, with their friends, with their teachers, in front of their classroom, in the classroom, maybe a select few even took a couple pictures of their hand or the ground or does that only happen to me?

Hugs crushed children and wrinkled shirts, tears flowed and mascara stung eyes, hands were held tightly and metacarpal bones may have been crushed.

It was like something in a Hallmark movie. Holy shit – was that Jack Wagner holding hands with Andie MacDowell?

Then there was me, careening around the corner in my minivan, blaring Soundgarden and yelling at the dog to stop that goddamn barking or else! and instructing the kids to get out here because I’m not waiting in that effing line and Jesus Christ these people don’t know how to drive.

The 8 and 10-year-old happily got out of the car with their backpacks and smiles on their faces, completely unfazed by the fact that I was barely awake and resembled Yahoo Serious.

As they walked towards the school, my life flashed forward a few years and I was saying goodbye to both of them in college. I could barely breathe, unable to keep the tears from falling. I wanted to hold onto them forever.

I blinked and was back at the kids’ school. I got out of the car and yelled out to both of them, Hey, have a great day! I love you guys! but they only waved as they turned back around and walked away from me. And then they were gone.

Regret settled in as I sat alone in the car. How many other memories have I let slip by?

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