Last year, I wrote a post titled “Off to School”. The post was about our oldest son starting Kindergarten and our decision to enroll him in a Montessori school. I wrote the post early in my blogging career, back when I had all of two readers: a sister and a friend.
This post is about school, too. Actually, this post is about one school. My son’s school. The school my youngest was going to enter in August. The school we hoped to stick with through elementary school. Funny how things change. Not funny really. Sad. Quite sad.
I have a list of books recommended by my readers. As a result, I am reading more and more. I am exposing myself to many different authors. I am learning that many authors write incomplete sentences. For impact? Maybe? Regardless, based on the books I am reading, there is nothing wrong with the short non-sentences in the second paragraph. Moreover, the fact that this has nothing to do with the bulk of the post is acceptable, too. Read more
When I created the category ‘Phase 3 of X on my blog’, my intent was to focus on the phases experienced by Joe and Charlie. The boys have traveled through the infant phase and toddler phase, and now Joe has entered the Kindergarten phase. As a result, I wanted a place to write about the various cycles and developments. However, as the 2nd week of Kindergarten comes to a close, I can’t help but ask, “Whose phase is it anyway?”
Joe’s first day was uneventful. The days that followed his first day were equally uneventful; that is, the time he spent at a new school and in a new environment were uneventful. At home? Not so uneventful. And, this is the part where I step in and realize, I have entered a new phase; it is called the ‘My child is home with me more’ phase. Um. How long will this phase last?
Yeah, I’ve already written about having to adjust to working at home with a child in the house. But, what about not working at home with a child in the house? Though I am readily available for my boss and coworkers 8hrs a day Monday – Friday, I have a great deal of ‘free’ time to tackle chores and – frankly – do nothing. And, when my kids were in day-care, they spent a full day in day-care (8am – 5pm). When I got the boys home, I’d have them in bed within 3hrs. So, aside from weekends, there wasn’t much time (or cause) for trouble and discipline.
Earlier this week, I went out to dinner with a friend of mine. She was laughing at me and teasing me about my cushy (time-wise) life of having the boys gone a full day, while I was home working a flexible job. And now – NOW I have a kid with me from 2:30 until bedtime. ACK! What?! I actually have to take care of my kid more than three hours a weekday? Seriously? I suppose you are going to tell me I have to interact with my child, too.
Thank goodness, at least for one more year, I don’t have to pick up my 2nd child until 5pm. I cannot imagine being home with both boys for for so many hours prior to bedtime. I mean, after I give my job 5hrs in a day, I have enough flexibility to do whatever I want with the remaining day (provided my boss can reach me). Just last month, I spent many hours watching and enjoying several movies in the afternoon before picking the boys up at daycare. Now how will I get through my queue of 314 movies on Netflix? Huh? And, they are just about to release the 2009 season of Dexter! When am I suppose to fit that in the schedule? Hmmm … is it wrong to have a 5yr old child watch a drama about a serial killer who only kills serial killers? At least Dexter is killing mean people, right?
And Oprah. This is Oprah’s last season! How am I going to watch O-o-0-o-oprah, when my kid is home with me?! Craziness people. Whose phase is this anyway? And, how long does it last?
Now if you’ll excuse me, my son has homework. We have to read a book together; rather he has to read the book, and I have to observe. You’d think the school would send home something more interesting like “Kiss Me If You Can” by Carly Phillips. But no, we have to read “Babe, the Big Hit” about an elephant in a circus, and I’m guessing there will be no romance. Maybe next week?
I woke up at 2:55 this morning, because I had to be at my boss’ house by 4am. Listed under ‘other duties as assigned’, I took my boss to the airport. Blogary, I’m tired. And, I was afraid, with the lack of sleep, I would be more emotional for Joe’s first day of school.
As it turns out, I did not shed one tear. Not one. Yay, me! I took pictures of Joe in his school clothes and gear, but the pictures were blurry and quickly deleted. Perhaps I’ll take a picture of his ‘second’ day of school tomorrow. In any case, when I attempted to take his picture, I felt myself becoming more excited for Joe.
Blogary, this isn’t a sad time. Joe starting Kindergarten is an exciting time! My friends were lined up, ready to console me if I needed help. I even had a friend suggesting I pre-plan the day with Tylenol, due to the headache that would follow my predicted sob session. Again I say, I did not shed one tear. Not one. (I cry at Hallmark commercials. Me not crying on Joe’s first day is highly irregular. Irregular, irregular.)
Perhaps, if the situation were different, I would have cried buckets. But, Joe was excited. And, when we went to his classroom, he was beaming! Beaming!
Pick-up time today was 11:30, just a half day to start off the school season. As I watched Joe come out of his class, I saw he was still beaming. He was quick to tell me about everything he learned, and he said he wanted to go back again and again. [Oh, how wonderful it would be if he felt that way throughout his entire school ‘career’.]
Once we were home, Joe called Suzann to tell her about his day. And, he made a point to talk to Charlie on the phone, too. “Charlie! I went to school today. It was great!”
Yes, today was a wonderful day. Now, here’s hoping I can muster the energy to stay awake long enough to make it through Parent Orientation tonight. Having been up since 3AM, I am dragging just a bit.
Up before the dawn’s first light –
Joining creatures of the night.
Tackling duties as assigned.
Getting paid, so I don’t mind.
Nervous with Joe’s teacher in sight.
Yet there he goes, shining so bright!
My day is filled with many routines. One of my favorite routines is enjoying a fresh cup of coffee, while the house is still quiet. I set my alarm early in the morning, specifically to sip my coffee in silence. I enjoy my last routine of the day, too: going to bed.
Most every night, when I go to bed, I lie on my right side reflecting about the day. Oftentimes, ideas for posts fill my head, but because I am comfy in my bed, I don’t make an effort to write my prize winning thoughts down. Though it rarely happens, I continue to tell myself I will remember my ideas in the morning.
In addition to blog ideas, I think about my friends and family. I review what took place during the day, and I consider what may take place tomorrow. And finally, when I have exhausted my mind with thought, I say a prayer.
Once I am done praying, I turn and lie on my back. I listen to the insects of the night and feel the wind on my face from the ceiling fan rotating overhead. I lie there quietly for a few minutes, until I get the urge to turn and lay on my left side. Once on my left side, I snuggle in and drift off to sleep, dreaming of my coffee in the morning.
Starting my day with a cup of Joe.
Quiet time moving nice and slow.
The sun rises up and fills the sky.
Soon, the day passes quickly by.
And, off to bed I go.
Joe and Charlie came running out of Suzann’s house. “Mommy!” They yelled. “We have a surprise for you!”
They were running towards me, each holding a Ziploc bag. As they grew near, I could tell they were not bringing me cookies. I began to get nervous.
“Look!” Joe said proudly. “Cicada shells.”
Yes. My boys surprised me with two Ziploc bags containing several Cicada shells. They love me. My boys really love me. (And, I love Ziploc bags!)
Creepy, crawly bugs
An Entomologist’s dream
.:Every new beginning comes from some other beginning’s end
Today, I took Joe to Suzann’s house for the last time. He starts kindergarten on Monday. If you’ve grown tired of me talking about Joe’s first day away from Suzann’s house and in school, rest assured the topic is nearing the end.
I walked into Suzann’s house with a bag full of small containers of Ben & Jerry’s ice cream for the classroom. Suzann greeted me, while busily blowing up balloons. On the buffet I noticed three freshly made blueberry pancakes on a plate in the shape J, O and E. The preparations for celebrating Joe’s promotion were underway.
Before leaving, I handed Suzann a book I created, documenting the years Joe spent with her. We both looked at each other, holding back tears. She has played such a big role in Joe’s life, for which I am grateful.
As Joe closes the door to Suzann’s house and opens the door to his new school, I am reminded of an excerpt from Robert Fulghum’s book, ‘All I Really Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten‘:
All I really need to know about how to live and what to do and how to be I learned in kindergarten. Wisdom was not at the top of the graduate-school mountain, but there in the sand-pile at Sunday School. These are the things I learned:
Don’t hit people.
Put things back where you found them.
Clean up your own mess.
Don’t take things that aren’t yours.
Say you’re sorry when you hurt somebody.
Wash your hands before you eat.
Warm cookies and cold milk are good for you.
Live a balanced life – learn some and think some
and draw and paint and sing and dance and play
and work every day some.
Take a nap every afternoon.
When you go out into the world, watch out for traffic,
hold hands, and stick together.
Be aware of wonder.
Remember the little seed in the styrofoam cup:
The roots go down and the plant goes up and nobody
really knows how or why, but we are all like that.
Goldfish and hamsters and white mice and even
the little seed in the Styrofoam cup – they all die.
So do we.
And then remember the Dick-and-Jane books
and the first word you learned – the biggest
word of all – LOOK.
I believe Robert Fulghum nailed the simplicity of life; though we continue to junk it up with gunk – or gunk it up with junk. Either way, as I watch Joe begin his journey in school, I hope he ignores the gunk and junk and keeps life simple. And, I will do my best to remember the lessons of kindergarten, making my life simpler, too.
So begins your school age years.
No doubt I will shed some tears.
Go forth, have fun, keep an open mind.
Listen. Question. Look. Be kind.
And do your best to face your fears.