A tropical storm heading for our city? Was not what I was expecting for the first day of school. However, I do love a good tropical storm. The rain, the cloudy skies, the fascinating hoarding behavior at the grocery store? It just makes me happy. Inordinately happy.
This morning was like any other except that I tried to delay my morning cup of coffee so I could enjoy it with the paper at Starbucks BY MYSELF after I dropped everyone (and I do mean everyone) off at school. Given that it took me nearly forty minutes to coordinate my brain and limbs enough to make two lunches and find extra diapers for Wes, I now realize that COFFEE (!!!) will be first on the list from now on.
The kids were their normal sluggish morning selves, but we managed to tear them away from Sesame Street long enough to get this magical and special back-to-school picture (originally this would have been outside, but like I mentioned before, TROPICAL STORM). This is the most magical and special of the ten or so that we took, the others having been wrecked by nose picking, fighting, and Rossby wandering into the frame just as I pushed the shutter. Wes chose the infant hat from a basket in the closet while Ryan dug around for our only umbrella (TROPICAL STORM!).
We made it to the building from the car with minimal distractions (the umbrella mesmerized them) and I handed Wes and his backpack over the half door of his classroom with no fuss, just like I was told to do at orientation. He walked off and found a doll stroller to push around with no fussing, no waving, no "Thanks for breastfeeding me for ten months!" nothing. He's always been an independent kid. Except for this weekend when he walked into our friend's kitchen to see me holding a tiny baby. That time he pointed at me accusingly, shouted "BABY!" then made his angriest face, complete with indignant snorting, before stalking off into another room. School, though, does not appear to be a problem.
For some reason, it was Charlie's dropoff that made me verclempt. He's a Big Kid at school now, so I'm supposed to hang back and let him do everything--hang up his backpack, take his lunch out and put it away--all of which he did with no trouble before he found his name tag among a whole table of name tags, which he also did with no help. And it just takes my breath away how grown up and competent he is. I pointed out that he got to wear a name tag JUST LIKE Papa does at work, gave him an awkwardly long and tight hug and sent him off to play at the table so I could flee the building before I embarrassed myself.
I did get my coffee at Starbucks and I did finally get to buy some maternity jeans (several earlier attempts were abandoned after appallingly awful behavior in the store (from all three of us, ultimately)). And now I'm home (no class for me this week because of Labor Day) facing down an entire August's worth of neglected housework and laundry and seriously considering making dinner (broccoli cheese soup and homemade bread... TROPICAL STORM!!) so I won't have to do it later when everyone is home and overtired.
But I am pretty excited about going back to get them and finding out what they did all morning.