Today is quite possibly my favorite day of the year, even more than Christmas or my birthday: It’s The FIRST DAY OF THE NEW SCHOOL YEAR! Woo hoo! And, get this….#4, also affectionately known as Goober, is in the 9th grade now. And has a Real Mustache…not peach fuzz. And Real Sideburns. good glory. The child’s only…what…5? Maybe? He should be in the backyard, running through the sprinkler and making mud pies, not digging real ditches and laying drain pipes and using chainsaws. Those things are too dangerous for a (5’9″ tall 165 pound w/ real muscles and facial hair) 5 yr old!
Alas, but there he is, and that’s the idea right? For them to grow up and become men (and women, though I have no female offspring and can only surmise) who are capable and competent and able to make real decisions about their own lives? And there he goes…
But yes, I kind of love the first day of school. The first day of Summer is nice for everyone else, as it means slack schedules and freedom from having to get up at dark o’clock and all that,but for me it means people around the house tracking in mud and eating all the olives I wanted to use in a salad and dirty dishes in the middle of the day.
The first day of school means cleaning up the kitchen after breakfast and IT STAYS THAT WAY until suppertime. It means solitude, blissful blessed solitude with George Winston on the stereo and things staying right where I put them and cleaning up and making of plans and schedules for the week. With #4 in cross-country, it means school lasts until 4:30 and carpooling. I love carpooling. That translates into only 3 days a week of getting him from school, instead of 5. Oh sure, I have to take other kids around, but SO WHAT! carpooling is FABULOUS.
Meals change as well. Even though it’s blazingly hot and humid in August, we’re all starting to get eager for the Fall and Winter foods. Meatloaf and chicken fried steaks and the one thing EVERYONE is asking for: Beef and Stout Pie with Blue Cheese crust. It’s a favorite.
But isn’t it nice, that beginning of the school year and all the changes that come with it? New clothes, new notebooks and stacks of packages of notebook paper, a clean desk with a cup full of pencils and pens, a fresh start on everything. It’s a chance for the kids to try out a new style- #4 has “graduated” from t-shirts to Western style button up shirts, the kind with the peaked yoke and snaps instead of buttons, and a particular brand of jeans that fit him nicely, and wellington boots instead of sneakers. He’s finding his own style, and since it doesn’t involve black eyeliner and Insane Clown Posse “Gathering of the Juggaloes” t-shirts, I am a-ok with it. Plus, I think he looks quite handsome dressed like that. Clean, tidy, and his own style. He is, however, keeping the mustache, to see how long it takes for the Headmaster to notice and request he remove it.
So here we go! #2 starts back at the University on the 19th. He is entering his junior year of Electrical Engineering, which is when the rubber meets the road, academically. I am sure he’s up to it, as he seems to thrive when challenged. He also has new paper, fancypants graph paper, pencils, pens textbooks (Viva la Amazon! Where you can get the same $150 text from the University bookstore for a mere $52! Textbooks are a racket, you have to have them so they can charge however much they want, and the writers don’t get the royalties, the institutions and publishing houses do. So, buy used ones from Amazon for 1/3 the price.