The school year is underway, finally. The kids were excited and nervous, both up early and ready to go before I got out of the shower.
We got to school early and waited for one of Clover's teachers to open the door, while she fiddled her hair and let out great sighs, the only signs that she was a little anxious. Once a teacher opened the door, she disappeared with her classmates to start their lives as fourth graders.
Fourth grade is the great transition year. At least I remember it being that way. Like Clover, my fourth grade teacher was also male, he had a couch in his classroom, signifying his late-1970s coolness, and he cooked with us during the school year. This was a stark contrast to the female teachers at the school, and kids who were assigned to his class were lucky. We all knew that. The classroom was in the center cluster of rooms at the school, unintentionally signifying the end of young childhood as we left the younger grades behind and transitioned into the older grades with the kids who seemed much more mature, though they were only a year ahead of us. It was the year between hopscotch and tight Chemin De Fe jeans with a plastic comb in the back pocket. We collected and traded stickers, the last vestige of childhood. It was the year that we started caring about clothes, hair and what our peers thought. We may have cared some before, but the intensity started to pick up in fourth grade.
Clover's year is similar. Her teacher is known for being laid back, including his first day of school tradition of showing the Simpsons and giving the kids Ho-Hos. I know it will be a transitional year for her, but it just hit me today. Dropping off Clover at fourth grade was much bigger than Rocket at kindergarten. Clover is taking a big step ahead and there is no slowing down the progress.
The only small sadness in dropping off Rocket was how much he did not care. I had to hunt Rocket down outside to say goodbye, and even then it was from a 20 foot distance as he waved over his shoulder while running with friends.
Within minutes, I was alone. I jumped into my car and possibly yelled, "Adios, suckers!" to my friends still with their kids. One person asked what I'd do with all of my free time. "Catching up on years of recorded Oprahs!" I answered. What the hell? I work and even if I didn't work, someone has to do the laundry and cooking around here.
Once home, before jumping into the long list of unanswered emails awaiting me, I made my family Mikey's Peanut Butter Pie to celebrate this important week. My kids start school, finally alone, I get to work in peace or sit at home painting my nails (depending upon what people think that at home moms do), and Kevin started working at a new company this week too. It's a week of transition. All good.
Now to catch up with Judge Judy.