With every new school year, sport season or even new holiday season, it can easily feel like you’re on a crazy amusement park ride. It’s exciting and fun until you start to feel dizzy and you know you can’t get off the ride until it’s officially over! Once the year starts or the new season is underway, you can’t put the brakes on. There are so many commitments and obligations to add to the calendar. How do we keep our homes and families balanced while also maintaining our sanity?
I’m always surprised at how excited and relieved I am when other parents share stories of when they’ve totally messed up! Tell me that you’ve sent your kid to the field trip without a sack lunch or arrived at the wedding without shoes for your child, or better yet, pants! The possibilities of screwing up are endless and it’s great to find out that you’re not alone!
I could write many posts about my process for keeping a busy family of six running smoothly, but today, I will instead, share a story with you.
It was Crazy Hair Day at school a few years ago and my boys love this annual tradition. There’s no "dress rehearsal" for the crazy hair creations either. The boys come up with their own idea of a masterpiece and I have one morning and one shot to get it right. We get up bright and early to begin the process. We start by spraying and spiking the hair into the necessary shapes. We then add the fun prop, like a peacock feather or headband, if needed, and proceed to spray again and again.
On this particular day, I had three boys in elementary school, including, kindergarten, 2nd grade and 5th grade. We managed to get the annual photo taken and got to school just in time to avoid a tardy slip. Ah...I did it! I was a SuperMom again! I deserved the warm cup of coffee waiting for me back home.
But an hour later, I got the call.
Mari, our secretary, called to let me know that Noah, my kindergartener, had just returned for the second time to the office, upset and crying. He was embarrassed about his hair. My heart melted, thinking of Noah and how sensitive he is. His bright orange and yellow hair must have made him uncomfortable and feeling obvious.
Then my stomach sank.
Mari informed me that it was NOT crazy hair day! The Lawrence boys were the ONLY ones in the school building with wild, bright (and amazing) hair! The boys hadn’t noticed they were the only ones looking crazy since we were the last ones to school!
I felt nauseous! My 5th grader was embarrassed. He attempted to fix the problem on his own by washing the hairspray, colored spray, glitter and foil stars out of his hair in the short little restroom sink. It didn’t work out so well. He was a mess. My 2nd grader was owning the mistake and loving the attention, and my kindergartener was mortified!
Mari said the school knew it was probably a mix-up especially since they had known our family for years and we “don’t do those things”. They didn’t "think" we were pulling a prank, but weren’t exactly sure since it happened to be "April Fools Day!"
Yes, I sent my kids to school with foolish, crazy hair on April 1st.
I felt horrible, embarrassed and confused. How did this happen? We planned it out! We checked and double checked the calendar, and their hair took over an HOUR to create! I wasn’t sure what I was more upset about. Was it because I felt bad for my boys or the fact that I was going to have to create these crazy heads again?
Sure enough, we bought more spray and new props and pulled it off again....a week later.
It took my youngest over two years to trust me on the issue of crazy hair day. Each year, we would plan the idea, go buy the supplies and he would softly question me in his sweet voice, "now are you sure crazy hair day is tomorrow...because remember that time when I was in kindergarten..."
My advice? Work on the communication and keep a calendar but don’t worry about perfection. Enjoy each crazy hair day that you create and those that you screw up because it’s the crazy days that you’ll remember the most.
Jacqui Slater Lawrence