Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Singin' the Back-to-School Blues

Femme aux Bras Croisés by Pablo Picasso, 1901
So, the kids started back to school on Monday.  Fifth grade for Anders and seventh grade for Lars.  Wasn't it just a year or two ago that Lars was posing for his First Day of Kindergarten photo in front of a big yellow school bus? 

Everywhere I look, I see commercials, comedians, and popular wisdom telling me that the kids are supposed to be reluctant to go back to school, and the moms are supposed to be celebrating.  Lars and Anders were excited, though, and this momma is sad to see them go.

The summer went so nicely, especially these last few weeks of August without day camps or traveling.  I enjoyed having them in the house.  It was nice not having to battle over homework enforcement or morning traffic on a daily basis.  We stayed up later, read extra chapters of our books, and watched episodes of Chuck on DVD.  The weather in Charlotte was atypical this summer, with so much rain and so little sunshine that it felt like an extended spring, and now the summer has ended before it really began in the first place. 

Now it's a new school year with new teachers, new challenges, new schedules and classes and expectations to get used to.  Already Anders has told me that I've "ruined his life." I mentioned his plans to take up the trumpet in band class this year (in addition to his ongoing private violin and piano lessons) to his violin teacher and she strongly advised against adding a third instrument.  I spoke with the piano teacher and the band teacher, and three out of three music teachers agreed that three instruments is too many, especially for a beginner, especially on top of all of his other homework...  So we switched him to Strings class instead of Band.  Anders retorted, "Mom, they wouldn't have known I had three instruments if YOU hadn't TOLD them!"  Ah, well.  So now, when he's an adult, he can tell his therapist all about how his mean mother deprived him of Band class in the 5th grade, crushing his dreams and denying him his destiny in the brass section.  I can live with that.

Don't feel too badly for me -- I'm sure we'll all adjust to the new school year just fine, once we get used to all the changes.  I met most of the teachers at the Open House night when we dropped off school supplies, and I think it's great that both boys will have different teachers for each of their core subjects this year -- Math, Language Arts, Science, and Social Studies.  Anders will have the same Chinese teacher as Lars this year, and she's wonderful.  I only volunteered to be the Room Parent of one class this year, and I'll volunteer in the school library once a week as well.  I may be teaching Sunday School to fifth grade boys at church this year, too, so we'll all have plenty to keep us busy.  It will be Halloween in a heartbeat.

Is it too early to start decorating for Christmas?  ;-)

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