Monday, August 20, 2012

8/20/12 First day of school!

First day of school -- summer is officially over!

No dorky "Varsity" shirts this time....I just didn't order any in time. But I also didn't want to struggle with getting them to wear the shirts. Then, it turned out, Gabriel asked me, "No 'Class Of --' shirts this time?"

Nor new backpacks or lunchbags either, which they all desperately need. And I just missed a Land's End 25% off -everything sale. Sigh.

But I don't know what to do about lunchbags for Julian. Today he got one of Gabriel's old lunchbags with a piece of blue tape covering the stitched "Gabriel" name -- and he lost it. First day of school! He lost 4 lunchbags just in the last 3 weeks of school. The other two kids combined don't lose stuff at nearly the rate Julian does. There just doesn't seem to be any point in sending him into school with anything of value.

At least I wasn't so lame that I missed the essential pre-class photos.

Katrina outside her new 1st-grade class. Unlike most of the other 1st-grade parents, I had to abandon her to check in on the boys.

Julian's 3rd-grade class, with plenty of doting parents there watching their every move.

Gabriel's 5th-grade class. By now, teachers have all but abandoned smiling apple signs that announce the grade and other cutesy decorations. Not that Gabriel minded.

I had just enough time to scootch back to Katrina's class after dropping the boys off, and remind her to walk to CDC herself after school (in kindergarten, CDC picks them up). There I saw her teacher calling out each child's name and handing them a nametag and sending them into the classroom. Katrina was at the head of this line, waiting patiently.

I was amused as the teacher struggled with the names, mostly multi-syllable elaborate Indian names. Then she came across the name "Tara" with visible relief, and looked furtively toward Katrina. Nope! The only Caucasian child in line wasn't matched to that particular Western name; another Asian girl was. So when the nametag "Katrina" came up, it was pretty obvious who that was. I never think of Katrina as being a stand-out blonde, but in her first-grade class she sure is.

Katrina's turn! She didn't even look back.

First grade is tough for parents, kids and teachers: they're getting used to a regular school schedule, but are the youngest ones who do so. Some 1st-graders (not mine) are not used to a full day of anything, and some even still take naps. I find 1st grade to be brutal in terms of work expected versus what a 5 or 6 year old can do.

But Katrina? I'm really not worried. Guess it's a girl thing.

She brought home a paper-bag bunny puppet project that they did in class today, promptly put it aside, and set to work on a far more complex wooden craft project of putting together an airplane. Since I'm Bad Mom and don't sit and do these things with her, she reads and follows the instructions herself, even including waiting for painted-on glue to dry, and comes up with an entirely credible result at the end.

Yeah, I'm not worried about her in first grade. Though I do wonder if nowadays with the law advancing cutoff dates, that during transition, some 1st-grade teachers could dread having 5-year-olds starting class.

We had a terrific "last-hurrah" camping trip last weekend! It was at a state park in Sonoma County, just north of San Francisco -- not far, but still, worlds away.

It was a "walk-in" campsite, which meant a lot of hauling of Stuff to get our camping equipment from the car in the parking lot to the campsite, but it also made for a much more pleasant campsite. Our neighbors had dogs, including a charming 9-week-old fuzzy puppy, and Gabriel especially was entranced.

Mostly I wanted to hang around the pretty campsite and study, but a short nature trail beckoned and we all did that, before going to the pebbly beach on San Pablo Bay. After that, Julian and Katrina and I left behind a whining Gabriel to find a sand beach -- and other coastal fascinations along the way.

Saturday Night we attended a campfire talk by a Ranger -- the scheduled speaker on Reptiles had to cancel (much to Julian's regret), but Ranger Tom and the hefty lesbian camp-host pair filled in by talking about the park animals. Gabriel was interested but nonchalant; Katrina tired and holding back whines; Julian entranced.

I'm working on the photos, but I'm getting so far behind on photo projects that I'm starting to have to give them up. I wish I could scrapbook every camping trip, or at least highlights of every summer, but no way. So I'm working on a Facebook album -- if only I can get it done quickly!

Is it really possible we were all there just yesterday?! Life is so different now....


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