Jude froze, standing in the dirt parking lot, and looked around to see if anyone heard her daughter’s comment.
“What, honey?” she whispered.
“I saw it sticking straight up, mommy, it looked like a white hair,” Alicia said while carefully navigating the wide chasm every five year old must brave getting out of a Ford Expedition.
A few other late arrivals to Kindergarten were jogging with kids in tow, but no one was paying them any attention in their haste.
With Alicia standing in the dirt, Jude opened the passenger door, jumped in and flipped the visor to reveal the mirror.
“Shit!” she breathed while smoothing the hair at the back of her part.
The bell rang.
“Come on, Mommy, we’re late!” yelled Alicia.
Jude slammed the visor up, jumped down from the seat, slammed the door, and pushed the lock button on her key fob.
She grabbed Alicia’s hand, and said, “Mommy’s going to go potty when we get in class, okay, honey?” while pulling her across the street and up the steps.
“But, Mommy, you promised to read with me!” Alicia whined, running to keep up.
“I will, honey, I just need to go the bathroom first, okay?”
All the students were sitting on the alphabet rug with their little red paper books, reading to their respective partners when Jude and Alicia entered the classroom.
Jude ushered Alicia past the teacher with an apologetic, exasperated roll of her eyes, and pulled her daughter to an empty space on the rug.
Smoothing the hair on the top of her head, she glanced around the room and assessed which adults were present. The same few moms she saw during the daily drop off of kindergarteners – all in their mom uniforms of t-shirts and jeans or sweat pants, and one rather good looking father obviously on his way to work, looking uncomfortable sitting on the rug in his grey suit.
One adult and child were off to the side near the hallway to the bathroom, the little girl crying, while the adult, who Jude could only assume was her grandmother with long salt and pepper hair hanging over her face, bent low and spoke in soft, comforting tones. There was at least one student almost every day with separation anxiety, and this one looked like she didn’t want grandma to leave.
Jude thought the women’s healthy thick hair would be beautiful if she would just dye it, for Christ’s sake!
“Mommy will be right back, Alicia, so go get your book, and start practicing your reading, okay?!” And, without waiting for an answer, she was walking toward the restroom sign.
Safely inside with the door locked, she took her nail clippers out of her makeup bag...(Read on)
Mary Kathryn Johnson
Author ~ Entrepreneur ~ Mom
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