Tuesday, September 16, 2008
The First Day of School
My mom has pictures of me and my brothers on every first day of school until high school, each of us dressed in stiff clothing standing by the flagpole in our front yard directly beneath the flying flag. It used to be a ritual, and like all terrified people, my brothers and I endured anything we were told to do on those days.
It's different now. I can't imagine taking pictures of the two rumpled saggy-pants boys at my breakfast table. My boys began school last week, rolled out of bed bleary eyed, and asked why I didn't homeschool them. They ask this on a fairly regular basis,and once I remind them that I would also make them read and write at home, they stop asking. There was no terror, just annoyance that they were up at 6 a.m.
My daughter began school yesterday. Emma is a lot like her brothers (eccentric), but she is also a lot more expressive. She has no fears of adults or of expressing herself so she spends a lot of time talking and writing (wonder who that's like...) So yesterday, when all the buses drove up in the afternoon, and all the moms had wonderful first day stories (She talked about her iguana/trip to Maine/first prize in the camp talent show), Emma's bus driver had a slightly different account.
Mr.G, a really patient, kindly man, was her driver last year, and since she's one of the smallest kids on the bus, he keeps her right up by his seat. When he turned right on the homebound route after a year of turning left, Emma protested by saying: "Oh, boy, where are we going?" When he explained they had a few new kids on the bus and the route was slightly longer now, she responded by saying, "Oh, that's good. I thought maybe you were going to kidnap me, take me into the woods and eat my organs."
I think it's going to be a long year.