Well, it’s almost here. Thursday is the last day of school for our little munchkins. Can you believe it? The last day you’ll see my daughter’s hair half-brushed with nests of tangles curled up underneath like nobody would notice. The last day a jumper is thrown in the dryer with fabric softener so that it will smell clean. The last day I stuff lunch boxes with cheese [because we are out of bread and ham] “just like the French.” And the very last day you’ll have to listen to the rumblings of my daughter, who says things like “Ann of Green Gables has too much dialogue and not enough action. At least in Clone Wars there is fighting.” She’s strong with the Force, that one.
I know this time of the year can be challenging. But we are all tired. For example, my daughter’s birthday is in the summer. When this happens with other children, mothers lovingly celebrate it mid-year, called The Half Birthday. They bring doughnuts and dress in skinny jeans and they do these great things mothers do to celebrate their little one. I think this is slightly ridiculous. Not the skinny jeans part, which I wholeheartedly support. Nor celebrating their little one. I told you I make fancy French lunches, so you can see that I care. But we don’t have half-weddings or half-promotions in life and we certainly don’t celebrate half-done projects. So let’s make them PUSH ON THROUGH until the actual day, when three people will actually be in town. Not everyone will make your retirement party either, kiddo, and you’ll only end up with a desk clock. Hard life lessons.
But my daughter begged for me to bring treats the last week of school. Because KIDS and SUGAR and EVERYONE ELSE DID. Why not, I said. There’s not much else going on. Except for a million emails from the school about summer reading and all the dryer sheets being consumed.
Let’s be honest. I’m much too tired to bake cupcakes, which is of course standard birthday fare. But we did have a brownie mix (SCORE!) so my sweet girl whipped up a batch that we will cut into teeny weeny pieces to make enough for her entire class. Because we are resourceful. Unfortunately, when I tried to slice them they crumbled and broke and we ended up with a platter of gooey crumbles.
So we improvised. That’s how we roll. So rolled we did, crumbly gooey baked brownies into tiny balls. We call them “brownie bites.” It was my daughter’s idea, which is brilliant. I know you want her to be creative and unique, so we made a treat tray with our chocolate bites and leftover Christmas cookies from the freezer and seven tiny cupcakes from Target we had left over. The reason for this creative display is not because we necessarily feel 4th graders need choice, but because we simply do not have enough of each separate confection and we are lazy.
Soon it will be over. You won’t get emails from me bailing on field trips (well I had a meeting, alright already?) and you won’t get papers back from my daughter challenging why the math quizzes always involve the eating (and taking away) of so many waffles. She won’t write any more essays on why barbarians “really aren’t that bad” and you won’t see all my pride swell up all these miles away.
Because I’m so damn proud of her. I just want her to think and create, to challenge and to be different. I want her to roll up crumbled brownies and sing silly songs and not care so much about the rest. I want her to love with her entire heart, even if it hurts.
Thank you for putting up with her, with me, with us. Thank you for letting her be a Jedi at recess, and for using Jolly Ranchers as currency with the other students in order to buy their pencils. Thank you for letting her somehow shine through the private school regime and be herself.
I hope you enjoyed the smashed brownie balls. After all, it’s not her real birthday so who cares. Choose a Christmas cookie instead.