I wonder how much longer #4 will be excited about going to school. 5th grade this year, it’s still at the Elementary school, so he has one more year before the Middle School Shark Pool becomes his domain. The good news is, he’s already heading into the murky waters of puberty, so he won’t be one of those kids who looks 10 when they’re in 8th grade. He’s taking after Terry, who was shaving and sporting chest hair in the 7th grade. That, and his height, will be in his favor. As will his tendency to not take no shi…er…stuff off nobody.
This morning he got up at 5:30, dressed up in all new clothes (including a rather…um…Brightly Colored pair of shoes he chose) and sat bouncing in the chair as he supervised the making of lunch. He did his chores with good cheer (how much longer will THAT last?) and we waited on the front porch, as we have done nearly every school morning for the last 5 years. Precious time, that. We talk and wonder who’s going to be his teacher (bad mom forgot the open house until it was already over), plotted his next vacation (October) and talked about girls. “Mom,” he said, “last year there were 3 girls who kept harassing me, said they liked me and wanted to be my girlfriend. I’ve found it’s easier to just ignore them for now.” Good young man, that. 4th grade is far too young to be fooling with relationships like that. 5th grade is too, in my opinion.
I love the return to routine that the school year allows. There is a flurry of activity from 5:30 until the bus comes at 7:10, and then, quiet. A second cup of coffee and 30 minutes of the news. I get to turn the radio on to my favorite station and listen to music the rest of the day, or spend an hour watching a recorded TV show. Lunch at noon, the boy home at 3, and then homework, getting dinner on, baths and to bed. Lather, rinse, repeat. I am a creature who requires set routine and predictable outcomes to be content. If I want excitement, it must be planned, like a trip to Six Flags or Savannah.
Now that David is moved into the small apartment downstairs, I can pretend that he’s not really there (except for today, he left a note asking to be gotten up at 9 because he can’t find his cellphone which doubles as his alarm clock). Indeed, I am Home Alone, just me, the laundry, and our nonfunctioning air conditioner.
That’s right. It’s August 3 and our A/C is on the fritz. It’s ok. Terry has determined the nature of the issue (the squirrel cage fan has died for some reason) and can supervise the repair and replacement, once he finds a replacement. Calls around town will ensue, and he has found 2 places online that sell the new part. A/C is very important to Terry. Personally, I can take or leave it, being fine with a fan and a wet washcloth on my neck. I’ve done it before and I don’t really like the cold anyway. He, however, works in a harsh and hot environment. The textile mill runs about 115 degrees and 100% humidity July-October, and he wants nothing more than to come home to a cool house and a cold beer. I have a feeling supper tonight will be something cold and light. I feel a grilled chicken lettuce wrap coming on!
Anyway, first day of school. August 3. Remember when school started after Labor Day? I remember 3 solid months of summer vacation. 3 months of sleeping until however late I wanted to, eating tomato sandwiches and swimming at the community pool. 3 months of traipsing through the woods behind the house, where it was always 10 degrees cooler than anywhere else. 3 whole months that felt like an eternal bliss, 3 months of not being harassed by my peers, of playing with my dog, Daisy, and of staying up past 10 to play spotlight kickball in the field across the street. I loved the summers and it makes me a little bit sad that my kids can’t experience the same sort of thing I did. “But Mom,” they say, “You didn’t have internet or anything!” True that, so I spent my time reading books and outside. Kids these days!