So, my son is in a play this weekend. Nothing big, just a little school production of Snow White. (But then, as far as school productions go, I’ve learned lately that every time I go in with low expectations—which is, oh, always—I’m pleasantly surprised). Anyway, he plays the scary, speaking tree that freaks Snow White out in the forest when she runs away from the evil queen. Why not the prince?…you might be thinking. Why not a dwarf?…you might be wondering that, too. The answer is simple. He tried out for those parts, but he got the part of the evil tree instead. So, evil tree it is.
He and his classmates have rehearsed this play for weeks now. He’s proud of this part. He has practiced the heck out of this part. He has memorized this part backwards and forwards, and finally…finally…has his evil voice/laugh down just right. And he is so excited. So much so, that a couple of weeks ago he initiated an unexpected conversation about it with me. To say I was surprised is an understatement, because he is generally a last-minute kinda kid (as is my older son—King of the 9pm “Hey Mom, I need a poster board for a project tomorrow” requests.)
Anyway, the convo went something like this:
Him: “Hey, Mom, have you made my costume yet?”
Me: “Do you need me to make me a costume?”
Him: “Yep. And you only have two weeks left to make it.”
Me: “ Okay.” (but thinking to myself “hmmm…I wonder why his drama teacher didn’t send me a note home about this? Weird.”)
Fast forward to this past weekend. Last Friday, to be exact. The day after Thanksgiving, to be more exact. The day after the Biggest Eating Day Ever and the Longest Shopping Day Ever and the Living On The Least Amount of Sleep Ever—to be totally exact. And one week before the play. So we had another conversation. A shorter one this time:
Him: “Hey, Mom. Have you made my costume yet?”
So I ran to Hobby Lobby, dragging my not-so-happy mother and sisters along with me. While there, we braved the wrapping-paper-frenzied crowds, I waited in line for twenty minutes to get some dang material cut, and my sisters reported a heated, not-nice-at-all customer altercation. We barely made it out with our lives. But…at least I emerged with brown felt. And Velcro. And safety pins. And hot glue sticks. And enough fake leaves to create my own forest in the back yard if I wanted to.
Which I don’t.
Now fast forward to yesterday. Another conversation. A longer one, this time:
Me: “Landon, come try this on.”
Him: “What is it?”
Me: “It’s your costume. Your tree one.”
Him: “My tree costume?”
Me: “Yep, the one you needed me to make.”
Him: “But this doesn’t look like a tree costume. Are you putting something on my head?”
Me: “Yes, it’s right here. (I held up a stocking cap that would eventually totally make him look like a tree, and explained.) Well, I’m gonna stick all these leaves here on this hat, which will match the leaves sticking out all over your arms, and then you’ll put it on your head and you’ll look just like a tree. See?”
Him: (frowning as he processed that information) “Okay. Just make sure it isn’t too big for me to fit my face through that thing.”
Me: (frowning now, too) “What thing?”
Him: “That hole where my face goes.”
Me: (just so confused, because I hadn’t cut a hole anywhere in this costume) “What hole where your face goes?”
Him: “The hole that my teacher cut out for me. In the tree.”
Me: (starting to realize something I reallllllyyyy did not want to realize. Because my son is ten. And from past experience, ten isn’t always the best age for communicating things. I spoke slowly). “Landon. What tree?”
Him: (sighing like I’m the clueless one) “The big cardboard tree my teacher made that I stick my face into when I say my lines.”
Me: (Looking at all the crap I bought. The leaves and the felt and the glue and the safety pins and the Velcro because I do not know how to sew and thought I could use all this stuff to assemble a costume that I DIDN’T FREAKIN’ NEED TO ASSEMBLE IN THE FIRST PLACE!!): “Um…so you already have a tree costume?”
Him: (shrugging) “Huh. Yeah, I guess so. Can I go outside and play now?”
And that was that. The end of my costume venture. Also nearly the end of my son’s life, but that’s probably not a topic we should discuss here (totally kidding, please do not call the authorities).
So, the moral of this story is this: Never trust a ten-year-old to communicate all you need to know about school. Because if you do, you’ll always, always, end up doing a bunch of unnecessary work that leads to one great, big headache.
Usually, it’s enough to make you wish for a poison apple.
(22 days to Christmas break…not that I’m counting.)