Sammy showed up at school the other day in his pajamas. Sammy doesn't do this often, but he is in Kindergarten, after all. And we were in the midst Spirit Week our ersatz moderate tribute to the Halloween we probably should avoid due to COVID restrictions. Sammy had gotten up early to prepare for the day, and was all buttoned up in his Star Wars Jammies, full of spirit.
Except he missed it by a day. He was a day early. He showed up in his pajamas on Super Hero Day. Which was the day after Disney Day and the day before Pajama Day. Which might have been easy enough to play off, since there are heroic strands of the super kind to be found in Star Wars.
But that's when mom started in: "See? Why didn't you tell me it was Super Hero Day?"
At this moment, I restrained myself from saying this to mom: "We sent home a flyer last Friday with a list of all the days for families to read and prepare. We also sent two separate texts to every parent's phone to remind them of the schedule. Mom."
I would have gone on: "Sammy is five years old. He was excited about participating in this odd rite we call Sprit Week. Sammy is still working on remembering the letters to the alphabet and exactly where the boys room is. Please forgive him for losing this little organizational detail. Sammy is five. Mom."
I didn't say any of those things. I made sure to compliment Sammy on his pajamas, and told him we can tell everyone that this was his secret identity. He could be Captain Jammie, protector of the sleepy. I did not tell Mom that she could have taken a moment to help Sammy prepare for the week, posting the flyer on the refrigerator, laying out the next day's costume the night before. Mom could have been two notches more involved, With her five year old.
And I know that I was perhaps overly involved in my son's voyage through elementary school. Joining the Dad's Club. Showing up to fix things with other parents on the weekends. Running the Pumpkin Patch. Working at the Car Wash. Hosting the Variety Show. Six years in a row.
There are limits to every parent's involvement. I get that. Single parents. Working mothers. Time and money are not easily dispensed in the families I see every day. I get that. I just didn't want Sammy to feel bad about showing up in his pajamas.