Saturday, August 29, 2009
Back to School
The weeks before school started around my childhood home were a flurry of activity and preparation. My mom had to get us new clothes, new shoes, new Pee-Chee folders, and whatever else we HAD to have to get us going in our new grade. Each school picture except Bryan's fifth grade photo is in the youtube Photo Memorial at the top of the blog. He was such a cute kid. Those freckles and long lashes. Those big 'ole buck teeth (I had 'em too until mom paid for braces and headgear for us both). When I look at those pictures, a bunch of "first" days of school flash through my mind.
Except the year I went to Grant Middle School and he spent an one more at North Broadway Elementary and his senior year at Escondido High, we always went to school together. I never had to walk onto campus without an ally. At least in theory. There was that day on our way to middle school when he purposely "rubbed" tires with me while we were our riding bikes to school. I ended up being driven to school by a good Samaritan since my knees were thrashed that time. But for the most part, we travelled as a team to first days of school. It was good to have someone on my side. Blood related and all. Especially the year Adrian the stoner chick had it out for me. And the year Liz the gang banger wanted to hurt me. Bad. Oh boy. How did so many people want to hurt me? I was a nice girl. With a big mouth. Having a brother proved helpful on many occasions. And Julie Beach. She was one brave friend who stood by when the lunches were being squished into laps. School was brutal for me at times. Thank goodness my brother had my back.
These last two weeks have been a whirlwind of commotion and chaos in our home. We started back to school over here. Unlike my mom, I didn't need to hurry to Gemco for book covers and lunch boxes. Instead, we cleared out the old (half-finished) curriculum from last year and made room in our school room for the new stuff. My kids don't need to cover their books, since they usually return them to the library. They don't need new school clothes since its so hot here right now they wouldn't be able to wear their fall selections anyhow! I spent many "first" school days melting in my new fall outfit just so I could finally wear it even when it was triple digits hot. What planet was I from? I remember Bryan wanting Vans shoes so desperately one year. Money must have been tight. He got Alphabeta specials: fake vans which he doctored up with a sharpie. Creative fellow. My kids don't even know what name brand clothes are. For shame!
Their first days of school around here means back to routine, definitely getting out of jammies before lunch and hitting the books by 9am. Daddy goes back to work. We brush our teeth more regularly than in summertime. But my kid's school experience is light-years away from Bryan's and mine. Weird. I don't have to pull blankets back and squirt kids with spray bottles filled with freezing water to get them going to make it to school on time. That was a part of my mom's morning routine. Frazzled woman. I don't have to pack lunches. If mom forgot, she'd run by the corner 7-Eleven for deli sandwiches, bagged Doritos, and a custard pie. She even dropped it off at the school office for us. What a mom. My girls do lunch around here. I'm a slug!
There is no threat of beatings upon arrival at school since they are home schooled. Wait, I take that back. "If you're gonna play rough, you gotta be tough! ". My new mantra for the wrestling and tackling taking place between brothers and an occasional sister. Maybe their existence isn't warp speed ahead after all? I hope and pray my kids grow up to like each other. Despite the fact that they don't have traditional "First Days of School" to bond them. Or custard pies in their lunches.
I attached some photos of my kids first week of school commemorated by a Pancake Breakfast at my best friend's home. There was dozens of kids, hundreds of pancakes, chocolate chips, sausages, plenty of whip cream for all. A feast Uncle B would have been proud of. And these funny mug shots--we have some from year's past when we used to go to IHOP for our first day of school tradition. We liked it so much better this year. Thanks Mer. Another "first' without my brother. Next year will be a cinch. Since you know I don't do nicknames, enjoy his funny pet names for the kids too.
Posted by Reilly Fitzpatrick at 12:33 PM