Thursday, August 23, 2007


It's official! Gabriel's a schoolkid!

I sent him to school in a shirt that said "CLASS OF 2020" (what a cool year, and ripe for optometric puns), slightly concerned that it'd permanently mark him as the son of a cuteness-geek, but it was anticlimactic. I don't think anyone got it.

In the same vein as some of my Mom friends, I attempted to take some video of Gabriel talking about kindergarten. Mostly, they show how poor my interviewing skills are.

First, Gabriel talking about kindergarten (long and boring):

Next, I asked an important question that I forgot (short and boring):

His school had no choice but to finally release the closely guarded secret of who his teacher would be and what room he'd be in.

Not surprisingly, there were no signs or anything directing parents what to do or where to go. A few were even more clueless than I was, unaware of class lists or where the classrooms were.

I went into the office to ask what to do, and, with another mother, stood and watched three people behind the desk looking at a computer screen. After a few minutes, two of them walked away together without looking up, and another idly went into a back room to copy something. No one looked up, let alone noticed we were there.

The other mother told me her daughter's name wasn't on a class list at all, and school started in 5 minutes! She was understandably agitated at the lack of attention. We exchanged comments that there should be extra help on this first day. Then another administrator, whose hands appeared to be full with a line full of first-graders, found the bandwidth to inject that things were crazy today and that everyone was overloaded. Uh-huh. With what? Apparently not with attending to parents in the school office. And it's not like the chaos of the first day of school should be any surprise to them. I don't accept this as a reason.

I did the other mother a favor and left, figuring my business was less important. If I followed confused throngs enough, I might stumble into the right place.

And I did. Room 3. Finally, some instructions. Kids, line up. Something he'll be hearing for years.

Then, his teacher appeared. She first had to negotiate the transition between the "AM" and the "PM" group (which Gabriel is). So, the AMers came into the classroom from recess and sat down.

Then, finally, we were allowed inside to settle our PMers in. Find his cubby, put away his lunch (which I had to pack since there was no information sent to us or on the Web site about signing up for the school lunch), say goodbyes, and leave, please.

I kneeled by Gabriel and gave him a big hug, and started to tell him I was proud of him....but didn't make it through the words. I started to choke up, he looked at me quizzically, and before I could embarrass him and myself, I gave him one last hug and left quickly. Out of his new world and back into mine.

I can't understand why I was so upset, so emotional. I'm about the most detached Mom I know, and he's about the most emotionally low-maintenance and self-sufficient kid I know. I'm not in the slightest bit worried about him, and I'm genuinely delighted he's starting school. But it's a big, if wonderful, change.

I'm annoyed at the school though. Other schools have playgroups and lemonade socials, and encourage the classmates, parents and teachers to meet each other and get to know each other. So far, communication and interaction have been at best, lame, and at worst, discouraged. I was glad to see that in the information packet Gabriel brought home, that there's an email address for his teacher.

Julian and Katrina were at Tonya's today, so I went for a long-overdue run at Rancho. No better way to work through my unexpected separation anxiety.

I don't know what possessed me, but at the last minute, I changed my route to include the famous PG&E Trail. I knew it was long, and heard it was steep, but I had no idea how steep. And high! At the pinnacle, I was rewarded with views all the way to Stanford, including The Dish and Hoover Tower, and Shoreline and Moffett Field, and probably the Pacific Ocean if there weren't mountains in the way. And, of course, a tremendous sense of accomplishment. Another high.

Later, at dinner, I tried to pry information from Gabriel about his day at kindergarten. Predictably, he had little to say about it. Something about a dot-to-dot puzzle that only went up to the number 5, and about not finishing a project because he had to go to the bathroom.

Idly, I told Dave that I'd gone running after dropping Gabriel off, and told him about how at the last minute, I'd taken a longer route, not realizing how incredibly steep it was, with a few shady level breaks, how I was barely even at a walking pace on the steepest hills, that I'd think I was reaching a summit, only to discover more hill around a corner, then made it to the top and had fabulous views, then had to skip down the really steep downhills.... was unusually quiet. I looked up from my task of shoveling food into Katrina's mouth, to see two sets of wide eyes riveted on me. My trail story fascinated the boys, and they were filled with questions about it. It made me proud, to tell them about my adventures. I want them to remember me this way when they're young men and I'm in a nursing home. Meantime, this is another great new thing to engage them with at dinner. And Katrina thought the skipping demonstration was hilarious.

Katrina was tired from a bad afternoon nap, and went to bed early. Meantime, the boys were absolute angels, even by "brother" least they were when I left to meet my Mom friends for Coffee. This was an important evening for us, since most of us experienced the first day of kindergarten today. On the whole, this rite of passage affected the Moms more than our kids!

And tomorrow, back to school. For years.


Today's route. Don't be impressed by "Miles." Be impressed by "feet of climbing" -- whew!

10) Parking -> Coyote -> PG&E -> Upper High Meadow ->
Upper Wildcat Canyon -> Wildcat Loop (NE) -> Coyote -> Parking

Results for route: 12V456STUWV21
Route Miles Up Down
12 0.29 0 30
2V 0.51 195 0
V4 1.60 500 310
45 1.86 1020 100
56 1.26 0 520
6S 1.37 0 450
ST 0.12 0 20
TU 0.53 0 180
UW 0.25 50 0
WV 0.67 120 0
V2 0.51 0 195
21 0.29 30 0

Total Distance = 9.26 Miles, 1915 feet of climbing

1 comment:

Queen Bee said...

So happy and cute and excited at the end of the second video!! I love it!