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Eye of the Panther

I was playing my workout mix on my Zune on the way to drop Laylee at kindergarten this morning when "Eye of the Tiger" came on. There is basically nothing I cannot do when that song is playing. I AM Rocky Balboa. It seemed like a good opportunity to explain to the kids about what it means to have the Eye of the proverbial Tiger.

According to me, it helps you be strong, powerful, tough, and really good at Math and all things kindergarten-related. I had the kids practice giving me the Eye in the rearview mirror. Laylee’s was passable and Magoo’s was near-psychotic mixed with flirtatious. His brows were furrowed while he grinned furiously and danced in his car seat by bobbling his head from side to side. The memory alone is enough to make me wish I’d done more Kegels after he was born.

With the song blasting on the radio, I pulled into the school to drop Laylee off. She was pumped. She was ready. She had the Eye. “Mom?” she asked, “Maybe I should call it The Eye of the Panther since my school’s the Panthers.”

“Oooo. Good call.”

Later that day, all the snow that’s been melting and the rain Hawaii sent across the Pacific combined to put our rivers at flood stage, so all the kids had to come home early from school. Things worked out such that Laylee needed to ride the bus home. Not being used to this routine, she got on the wrong bus and headed home … to someone’s home, not ours.

When she wasn’t on the bus at our bus stop, I tried to call the school but they weren’t answering calls, thanks to too many parents calling with all the weird arrangements. I’m pretty confident in our school district’s ability not to permanently lose children, so I didn’t freak out. Instead, I very calmly drove down to the school and the awesome office staff got on the walkie-talkies with transit.

We located her pretty quickly and the bus driver brought her back to me about a half hour after she was expected to be dropped off at home. When she approached me at the school, walking tall and proudly grinning next to the principal, I could tell that the experience had not traumatized her in the slightest.

“Weren’t you scared at all?” I asked, trying to reinforce her amazing bravery.

“Mom!” she groaned, “Of course not. I had the EYE OF THE PANTHER!”

Another crisis averted thanks to the Rocky Balboa school of parenting.

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