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Last Day of Submersion/First Day of School

firstday2014Since May 1, I’ve been completely submerged in my kids. Swim team, orchestra camp, hanging out at home, camping in the Rockies. I could say they’ve swallowed me whole, but that wouldn’t be fair. I’ve enjoyed it too much to whine.

School started on Monday, and now, I need to let go. How? I’ve never been good at switching gears. I have this attention span that locks onto whatever-it-is like a tractor beam. So, I have issues. I know it’s best for them to navigate the day without me. I don’t want to be that mom. I know her. She isn’t pretty, and the other moms hate her guts. Her kids run away to college and never come home. Or. They never leave, and we have failure to launch.

So for everyone’s sake, I’m wading back into blogging, trying to slip on my floaties before the bottom gives way, and I’m sinking into the deep end of the pool. Be kind. No splashing, please.

Middle School

first day 20131The first day of school. Khakis and school t-shirts. Coco’s hair in a chignon, courtesy of her sister. Nerd glasses. Converse sneakers.first day 20133Pride sucks out all my brain cells on days like this. No words describe the love I feel. No superlative is enough. Thank God for photographs. They capture the moment in spite of the fact that my heart is floating above my head, and I have to yank it back down to keep from embarrassing myself. first day 20134

“Mom, let’s go. Enough with the camera already.”

So, I get in the car, drive the few blocks, and watch my daughters walk in to the building. There’s a peace about it that I haven’t felt other years. I can’t say why. I’m back to the regular school day routine. I make the bed, put dinner in the crock pot, clothes in the washer. An hour later, I’m walking the dog when I get a text from Cherry.

“I have theatre arts instead of health. Don’t text back!”

Don’t text back means she’s texting surreptitiously. It’s illegal of course. And it’s also tied to taking health over theatre arts. I convinced her to take health for high school credit by adding unlimited texting to our mobile phone plan. Cherry’s won the round by default.

The dog pulls on the lead, and I capitulate.

. . . I don’t hate the idea of theatre class. It was my life before writing.

. . . Texting is this generation’s rite of passage.

. . . You’ve got to break a few rules to find out which ones are worth following.first day 20132

Paraphrasing Steinbeck

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San Antonio averages 300 days of sunshine a year. Last Friday wasn’t one of them. The white patch in the chair is ice. My patio is somewhere under the lake. The scene begs for cliché. When hail hell freezes over. When all hail hell breaks loose. Or to paraphrase Steinbeck, “I’ve lived in good climate, it bores the hail hell out of me. I like weather rather than climate.”

This isn’t the first time I’ve disagreed with Steinbeck.

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