Tuesday, August 23, 2011

A First for Second and Fourth

I'm so glad we managed to get away for a few days before school started. And I was tickled pink to be in Yosemite when the call went out to help sort school supplies this year. Thank goodness that was something I couldn't help with at all. I got roped into helping with a coaching clinic for soccer, but that was fine.

I took Mam out to see if I could find her a cute dress for the first day of school. She's always resistant to going out. No matter what she's up to at home, it's always more interesting than anything involving getting in the car. We went to Kohl's. Nothing. We went to Target. Nothing again. I sighed and asked if she wanted to wear clothes she already had or go to the nearby mall...expecting a swift end to shopping. We went to the mall. She found a dress at Macy's. I hated it. I made her go to Gymboree. Nothing she liked and nothing I wanted to afford anyway. I dragged her to JCPenney. Nothing. Finally, I had to suck it up and tell her she could have the dress at Macy's. I hadn't checked the price tag. At least it was on sale.

When we got back to Macy's, she went right back to the dress she'd found and then chose its neighbor...which still wasn't something I would have picked out, but was a whole lot cuter than the original choice. I agreed quickly and we checked out as fas as possible, before she could change her mind.

She may have been overdressed for the first day of school, but at least she was cute.Smunch wasn't thrilled with the teacher he'd been assigned for the year. I was pretty happy because she was the only fourth grade teacher who wasn't new to the school and she has a good reputation. It didn't show that much, but I think Smunch was pretty anxious about the first day.Mam, on the other hand, got just the teacher she wanted...except that that teacher now has a shared classroom, so she'll only be there part time and is sharing with a former kindergarten teacher. I like her teachers, but I wasn't super thrilled about another shared contract. Mostly, I was relieved that she didn't get one of the other teachers...who is also a terrific teacher, but I thought Mam would be particularly poorly suited to her style.

Mam couldn't wait to get to school. She really missed her friends over the summer and was just so excited about everything!As is tradition...in many families, I suppose...Daddy and I walked the kids to school.They chattered happily the whole way. It's so nice to have them be excited about school. When I look at what other parents deal with in terms of first-day jitters and separation issues, I have to admit that I'm very fortunate. My kids clearly love me, but they're also happy without me. I must've done something right somewhere along the line!This year was strange because the kids wait in lines all the way across the blacktop from each other. So, I couldn't easily go back and forth between them. I missed meeting any of the teachers. But that was fine. One of them knows me and the other two probably know who I am as well. I've been a known quantity at school for a while now.

Both kids seemed perfectly happy in line for their new classes. Although I'm sure he had no qualms, Daddy carefully questioned Mam about whether she was really ready for second grade.Mam gently reassured him that she was indeed ready for the year and all it entailed.

As if I needed more proof that I burned out almost every volunteer impulse last year, I took one look at the annual back-to-school coffee (where the year's volunteers are recruited) and decided that I'd really like to go home...to my eerily quiet house, eat breakfast and read the paper.

Mam, predictably, had a great first day and to my great relief, Smunch was thrilled with his class too and reports that he really likes his new teacher.

It's going to be a good year.

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