I have to say this has not been the easiest of summers, and by the beginning of August I was so fed up with the constant bickering and the Polly Pockets and Barbies everywhere and the telling me, "Mom, I need something to doooooo," I was about to lose it. As my friend Suzanna says, "Sometimes mercy comes in the form of a big yellow school bus." I frankly could not wait for this day, and actually, neither could the girls.
"When is school starting?" they would ask me every day.
But now that school did start (yesterday for Lucy and today for Elaine), of course I've got that nostalgic, weepy feeling about my babies growing up so fast and before you know it, I'll be trying to get them to pick out sheets and towels for their dorm room when all they're interested in is picking out the best posters for their walls (do college kids still put up posters? I could be off on that.)
So, my real question is, how is that just last week I had this person in my house...
...yet now she looks like this:
Please note that she is displaying her new rainbow Skechers to their best advantage. She had been begging me for Skechers, so after I bought all her new uniforms at Kohls, they gave me a $20.00 coupon back (it's like getting paid to shop!), plus I had a 15% off card, and we went to get the shoes she wanted. Here's a sampling of our dialog in the store:
Lucy: These are awesome, Mom! These are just what I want; I can't wait to show everyone at school!
Me (remember--raised by a missionary): OK, Luce, just remember, these are special. There's no way I'd paid forty dollars for shoes for a 7-year-old. After our coupons, they cost about $13.00. You don't have to tell everyone they're Skechers, either, because what if someone else doesn't have them? Everybody's shoes are just fine, no matter what brand they have. That's why everyone wears a uniform to school--so nobody feels bad that someone else's clothes are nicer than theirs.
Lucy: ELAINE, LOOK AT MY COOL SHOES! THEY ARE SKECHERS!
I guess that's one of those talks that you hopes sticks in their head later in life, kind of like the common sense talk we have almost every day. Actually, I am picturing my mom up in heaven, laughing at me because we had this exact conversation circa 1982 about Lee jeans or something.
OK, moving on, here's her backpack and most especially her just-long-enough-to-be-braided hair.
Note the shoes still being displayed:
My dad had spent the night before with us so he'd be on-hand for the first day of school. I'm so glad he was there, and he prayed for both girls that they would have a great year.
(And again, the displaying of the shoes): Now today is Miss E's first day. This is her yesterday:
And now today...
Junior kindergartners don't have to wear a uniform yet, so she can go freestyle. This leaves me with another year of finding clothes with cats all over them. In the meantime, she has a cat backpack, with a pink cat attachment, and, because they each get to bring one thing from home today, of course she is bringing Catty. I was supposed to wash Catty yesterday, but I forgot, so today we just put a party dress on her instead.
One of my favorite pictures...
...to this. Elaine doesn't look very happy because Lucy is standing too close to her and breathing the same air she does. (Remember? Sometimes mercy comes in the form of a big yellow school bus.)
I finally got them both dropped off, oh wait, after they both said goodbye to Cleo the Cat. Lucy said, "I bet she's so sad that we're going to school, and she'll be all alone with you, Mom." Seeing as she spends most of her time hiding in various closets and it's only been two days since any one of us hasn't been hissed at or bitten by her, I'm not too sure about that.
At school, Lucy ran down the hall confidently to her second grade room. It's a Northwoods theme, complete with a fish pond in their class, a cabin, and a mascot named Martin the Moose. They're going to learn to record each other, get postcards from all 50 states, and they've already been to the library where Lucy checked out a Bobbsey Twins book. She's going to have a great year because she is one of the happiest, best little citizens there is. She is made for school.
Elaine's room is a garden theme. There are all sorts of centers and a tent that looks like a beehive where they can go in and read. Buzzy the Bee is their mascot, and every morning they have Buzzy time where they can tell about their life. Lucy was in this same room three years ago. When I went to the open house, I noticed that all the other mothers were 12-15 years younger than I am. They probably thought I was Elaine's grandma. Not that I have any insecurity about that.
Here's Elaine with her teacher, who is the sweetest, kindest person you'd ever want to meet.
Whew. They're off to school and I'm back at home, turning on some music because it's so quiet around here. I think I'll go take a walk with my free time. We just wrapped the Sept/Oct issue of the magazine (more on that later), and I'm supposed to be thinking about the Christmas issue now. Nothing like a warm August morning to get you in the mood for the holidays. But of course with time the way it is, they'll be here in the next day or so.