Last Friday, my wonderful 9-year-old son Jack came home from school proudly carrying a big piece of blue construction paper. Pasted onto this big piece of blue construction paper were handwritten notes from his third grade classmates extolling his many virtues. “Why did they make this for you?” I asked.
“Because I was Superstar of the Week!” he answered. “All this week! By the way, you were supposed to come have lunch with me yesterday. I forgot to tell you that. When you didn’t show up, I just told my teacher you were probably getting your toenails painted black again. She said not to say that I saw her roll her eyes.”
And that pretty much sums up how every SuperStar/Rock Star/Shooting Star of the Week has gone around here since the boys started school. They always forget to tell me it’s their special week, so then I look like a jerk for not sending in a homemade photo collage of their life to share with the class.
“Just tell them we don’t own a camera!” I yelled the last time Sam was Grand Poobah of the Week and headed off to school unprepared. “Tell them to close their eyes while you describe what your trip to Disneyland was like! Or you know what? Tell them your mother has bigger fish to fry and she can’t be expected to just whip up a retrospective of your first ten years on a moment’s notice! She has a very long artistic process that prohibits her from being prolific, especially when there are good things on the DVR! And if those losers don’t like it, they can go stick their heads in a bucket! Tell them that! OK, don’t tell them that! But stare at them and deeply think it!”
That said, I’m still better prepared for Super Star week than I usually am for Teacher Appreciation Week. Like all of the times I’ve realized too late that it’s “every kid bring in a single flower to give the teacher” day. First of all, a single flower? Do you know where you can buy a single flower? That’s right, the same place you can buy a single cigarette. Which is to say, “the prison yard.” So most kids come in carrying huge bouquets because their moms “figured the teacher deserves more than one flower,” and then my kids look like chumps for bringing in the half-dead daisy I picked out of the pee-smelling grass behind the Chevron station. I mean, why can’t we have “give the teacher your almost expired Groupons day?” That day I’d totally own.
Anyway, back to Jack’s collection of notes. I was very happy to sit down and read the nice things Jack’s classmates had to say about him and they all made me smile. Here are just a few examples:
Your very kind and sooo smart. Your really good at social studies.
I think that you are a hard worker. P.S. You are cool.
Jack you are very awesom. (sic)
And then there was one from some girl who said he was smart, but “really annoying in music class.” To which Jack replied, “Whatever. She’s the annoying one,” so obviously Ashlynn P. is destined to be my future daughter-in-law because that’s what passes for true love in the third grade.
But while all of the notes to Jack were super sweet, there was one in particular that actually made me worried. Very worried, in fact. Here it is:
Your so cute, cool, hansom, atlete, awesome, pie loving, sweet, Judsony, funny, fast, popular, attractive, nice, good, good at baseball, soccer, tennis, lacrosse, and plus you are sexy, sweet, chill, strong, good at singing, pet oving, sweetie, cooking loving, Mature Person!
Spelling and grammar mistakes aside, what the hell? Does Jack have a third grade stalker? Someone was actually calling him “sexy”? SEXY? Were we going to have to call his teacher and the principal and alert them to the fact that Jack has a Number One Fan and the 9-year-old version of “Misery” would soon be taking place in our tree house? Just who was this little Kathy Bates in pink flip-flops?
I showed the note to my husband and even he looked a little disturbed. “Wow,” he said, “Someone’s sure got it bad for Jack. By the way, why don’t you write things like this for me anymore? Is your wrist broken or something? I’m pie loving.”
But I knew we had to nip this in the bud as soon as possible and possibly hire a security company and some attack dogs or cats, so I immediately sat Jack down when he got home from his friend’s house. “Jack,” I very calmly asked, “do you know who wrote this note to you?”
“Of course I do!” he said.
“And….?” I persisted, hoping that his answer wasn’t going to be “the 15-year-old kid who’s been held back eight times and shaves his beard every morning on the school bus.” And then my usually modest to a fault kid told me what I should have expected all along as someone who lives with three members of the male gender.
“I wrote it about myself!” he said. “Awesome, right?”
So, I guess it doesn’t matter that I didn’t know Jack was the Super Star of the Week. Because he sure as hell did.