Tomorrow is “Twin Day” at Chip’s school. This is part of a week with a theme of “friendship, community and being nice to each other”. I think. It’s all fine by me. The kids are supposed to wear something with the color yellow everyday. Yellow isn’t a huge color for Chip but luckily he has a Swedish soccer shirt his Swedish grandmother sent him (Sweden’s colors are blue and yellow, in case you were going to google that). So Chip has been wearing that shirt all week. Tomorrow presents a new challenge: Twin Day. The gist is that you and a friend or group of friends are supposed to dress alike. Here’s the rub, Chip is in Kindergarten, he is 5 years old. He is illiterate, has never called a friend and all “plans” for his life are pretty much handled by ME. Not that his world will come crashing down if he isn’t “twinned”, but, you want to help the guy participate, right? Also, what if he gets to school and realizes all the kids are twinned and he isn’t? Ultimately, I will have let him down. There is much character building and personal growth that comes from harsh disappointment and I’m all in favor of building character. But, this is such “low hanging fruit” I’m thinking, so why not go for the save? So I started asking Chip yesterday if he had a plan for someone to twin with. He said, “I don’t know.” So I suggested a good buddy of his named Jack. “Ok,” says Chip. So I know Jack’s mother. I think I started off texting her about something else school related and she thought I was talking about Twin Day…Clearly it was weighing on her mind. So I jumped on the Twinning plans with her. She e-mails a simple idea of jeans and some shirt. But, I had to defend with the fact that Chip wears shorts…Everyday. Yes, since the first day of school, shorts everyday. Which is fine because we live in LA and we’ve had a mild Winter. At about this point in the day, I think I went to the dentist and was confined in a chair unable to text, e-mail or call even though I had my droid on my lap.
When I picked Chip up from school he mentioned that he thought Jack was being twins with a kid named Tom, but they were just going to wear the same shoes. Oy, the plot thickens. A few hours go by during which I’ve been on a skid with everything else I have going on that is ultimately more important than Twin Day. I’m driving off to meet some friends for dinner when I remember Twin Day. I quickly calculate that by the time I’m done with dinner it might be too late to connect with Jack’s mom. So I call her. Jack’s mom has a real job so I’m sure Twin Day has been at the fore of her concerns the past few hours as well. We are both driving and both “handsfree” so, effectively, we can’t really hear each other. I round back to the shorts idea. She thinks it’s too cold. I don’t disagree, but toss back a pithy, “I’m from Boston” which is the passive aggressive way of saying, “I know cold….And this isn’t cold.” She laughs politely. I decide to go for the kill: “How about they both wear their school t-shirt and whatever on the bottom, because who cares and that’s good enough.” Jack’s mom is all for it, she just has to make sure she can FIND his shirt when he gets home. We agree to communicate by 2200 hours. I get home from a dinner that included way too many nachos and seek out the shirt. As fate would have it, Chip wore it today after school, even though he never wears that shirt. He continued to wear it during dinner at which meal his father served him fettuccini with Marinara sauce. You figure it out. I debate running a load of laundry when I make a game day decision to text Jack’s mother: “about to toss shirt into wash. What is the sitch on your side? And whose idea is Twin Day in the first place?” Bing! Response: “Found it! We are good to go!” Me: “Ok, roger that.” Then…I felt a surge of empathy for the as yet faceless kids who will come into school tomorrow un-Twinned and texted a rhetorical: “I feel for the kids who don’t have a parent who speaks English or is illiterate or a flounder.”
Or, ultimately, does it even matter to anyone but me? (And possibly Jack’s mother?)