Tuesday, August 21, 2012

The Beginning of The Rest

New Kindergarten recruits at our bus stop.
The kids started school on August 11, Hank to Kindergarten and Laura to sixth grade, which is in middle school--a new school--for us around these parts. I joked about how I was going to go home and cry forever and all that, but I have never really been that way. I have always felt happy for them with each new unfolding of the scene, and ready for all of us to try something new and different. Another mom of a new Kindergartener said, "I just feel like this is the beginning of all the rest of everything."

sixth grader
Laura was ready and eager to the max.
I will confess that I did feel my throat constrict ever so slightly when Hank gave me a smack on the lips, said, "Bye Mom!" and ran toward the bus, waving over his shoulder.


I felt a small throat-tightening and eye-squinting, but it could have been allergies. Yeah, probably. But I wasn't worried about him. I mean, I knew that whatever it was gonna be, he would deal, in his way. His shoes were double-tied, there's a bathroom in the classroom, and the kid is not afraid to speak up for himself.

Actually, Hank was famous among the elementary school faculty before the first school bell rang. The week before school, we got picked up at the bus stop for Kindergarten Round-Up, where we all ride to the school and have tours and activities. The kids separate from the parents, so I didn't know what Hank said or did while he was with his group.

Then, a few days later, I ran into the PE teacher, who is a tennis friend of mine. She said, "I heard a story about Hank." I was like, Lord. What. She said that the principal had begun their faculty meeting that morning by telling about an incoming Kindergartener she'd heard introducing himself at the Round-Up. She said, "This little guy told the class, 'My name is Hank, but please call me Lone Star.'"

That kid.

But I knew it was true because as we were boarding the bus for the first time, he'd asked the driver to call him the same thing. The other moms in the front seats just completely died. "Lone Star?" they laughed. I was like, this is news to me too.

So he's already making his mark.

And Laura has been in some rarified girl-realm of pure excitement all week. She loves sixth grade, she loves changing classes, she loves her locker, which she has decorated with magnets, a little chandelier, and a beaded curtain. This is a thing, locker decorations. I think all I had was a picture torn out of a surfing magazine, but I am old.

bus stop

I walked Laura to the bus the first day too. And she wanted me to wait with her, but I wasn't allowed to hug her or speak too loudly. I suggested she go introduce herself to the other kids, whom she hadn't met, and she was like, "No, they're big kids." And then she asked me to stop taking her picture with my giant camera. And I was like, "You mean like this?"

no more pics plz
There are lots of new rules for me now. But these sixth graders hit the ground running. They already had their first sixth-grade dance on Friday after school. Or really it was more of a mixer. I asked her and her friend if this was the kind of event where they would dance with boys, and they were all, "Good grief no!" So what it turned out to be was a bunch of bouncing around and group line dances. Laura and her bud led the group in the Cotton Eye Joe, to the surprise of nobody.

So here they are world, I have released them into your care and now I'm gonna go get a froyo.

Back to school is back to blogging. I have been up to a lot, and I am sure you will be hearing about it all. Just wanted to poke my head in. What is up with your schoolkids? Perhaps you live in a civilized part of the country and you still have three more weeks of summer vacation? Super jeal.