The First Day of 6th

I dropped off the girls at Middle School at 8 am. Help, I have 3 children in Middle School! Yes, these are the years commonly known as the greatest years of a person’s life! My most vivid memory of Middle School was having to wear my brother’s hand-me-down red, white and blue Converse. So embarrassing. Every single day, total embarrassment.

I also remember making a movie, “Looking Back,” about the Depression with my homeroom. And, yes, I must mention Mr. Dennison’s counseling group where we rapped after school about our issues from a Transactional Analysis point of view. (Yes, I’ve always loved self-improvement.)

But this post wasn’t going to be about me. I was talking fondly about my girls going to Middle School. So yes, I got choked up dropping them off. (That’s about me, too! My feelings!) Especially verklempt when we were a block away and I saw they were holding hands!!! I love that!!!! (I love exclamation points too!!! They probably discourage exclamation points in Middle School!!!)

No time for sentimental good byes. The girls literally ran away from me once we hit the schoolyard. They gave me the bum’s rush. And I was left with the other bums (parents), empty-handed on the sidewalk. I said to myself, “It’s a good day to go back to church. To pray for all the teachers and students.” Besides, I had a little time to kill before work.

At the first church, “The New Pleasant Church,” on 81st, the gates were open, but the door was locked. It looked like it had been turned into a theater any way. I would’ve enjoyed going to the theater, had even that been open, but No.

So I went to the Holy Trinity Church on West 82nd. I sat by myself in there. Very vast and wide and dark. I noticed the statues of Mary. How can Mary look so calm all the time? Where do churches get that placid Mary? Where’s the Hysterical Mary? Where’s the Mary who has 3 kids in Middle School?

I asked Mary, “How do you do it? Look so calm all the time? What’s the secret?”

She didn’t say. She just smiled beatifically, the way she does. Not really helping me out. She could use some Transactional Analysis and learn, like I learned in Middle School, that it’s okay to express your feelings. “I’m Okay, You’re Okay.”

Mary stood there. Candles at her feet and a fan beside her.

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