I wanted to smack the ten year-old this morning. I really wanted to beat him like the drum he forgot to take to school. Monday is the day he brings his drum pad and pad stand with him. It was waiting for him next to his backpack.
Two minutes before he was scheduled to leave the house in order to catch the bus, he pulls out his football cards. He wants to shove the eight inch binder into the backpack and take them to school. I ask him if he is crazy. He does his stupid little tantrum dance accompanied by his trademark whine.
If he had waited two and a half more seconds to make his move towards the door, the album full of football cards would have left my hand like a Frisbee and probably flapped its way into the living room. He leaves without kissing me goodbye.
Three minutes later as I’m heading to the bathroom, I see the drum pad and pad stand just sitting there at the kitchen table. I grab it and run to the road screaming his name up the street. I wait until the bus reaches me and wait for the door to open. I look at him hard because I want him to be afraid. Instead he tells me that he needs his drumsticks. I really want to beat him now. He gets off the bus and I scream at him to run into the house to get them.
The bus waits… flashing red lights… cars waiting behind it… me waiting in the middle of the road. Ten seconds. Fifteen seconds. No boy yet. Twenty seconds. Twenty minutes. Two hours. He sticks his head out of the door. He can’t find them. I wave the bus along.
I walk into the house screaming about football cards and being grounded and missing birthday parties and something about wanting to beat him badly. The drumsticks are in his backpack. They’ve been there all along. I have to be at a meeting. I skip the bathroom to drive him to school. I stop yelling somewhere between the house door and the car door. I start again someplace between the car door closing and the car door closing again. This time he kisses me goodbye.