first day of school

The first day of school

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Mom getting the kids ready for the first day of school: fail.

Sure, the kids started school 2 weeks ago. Life gets busy. I had to enjoy the silence for a couple of days, and take some naps. But I’ve finally downloaded the pics from my camera.

The pre-school rush, the buying of the things, the packing of backpacks, the choosing of outfits – we rocked all those things. I was feeling pretty pumped about having everything taken care of. Tim was even in town, although not actually around that morning due to normal stuff like going to work at 4am or something silly.

It all started to come crashing down around my running shoes (I had even gotten up to workout that morning!) just before 7am, when I realized that 1) I couldn’t remember the exact time Kate’s new bus was supposed to arrive, and 2) a monsoon of all monsoons dumping hurricane-amounts of rain on us approximately 4 minutes before I thought we were supposed to walk to the bus.

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Here we are taking the obligatory “first day of (middle!!!) school pics” in near darkness.

Panic.

The next thing I know, I’m hearing a rumbling, sort of like thunder, but more like a school bus coming down the street. But not down at the normal pickup spot. No, I hear a school bus going down the street in front of our house, which it has never done before. First I hear it, and then I see it. Yep, a bright yellow school bus. Kate and I look at each other.

Me: “Uh, was that your bus???” please tell me that wasn’t your bus, please please please.

Kate: looks blankly at me. “I don’t know!” And she’s right – how should she know? That’s definitely my job.

Me: internal cursing “Um, we better get your stuff in the car NOW and get you to school. The traffic is going to be horrible.”

Kate: anxiously scrambling to get her stuff to the car

Me: feeling awesome for stressing out my kid on her first day of middle school

Scrambling.

I run inside and yell at the littles. Luke is asking for me to make him a sandwich. “Sorry, dude, you guys are on your own. I have to take Kate to school. I hope I’ll be back in time to walk you to the bus, but if not, you know when to leave, right? [slight panicked look from Luke, nonchalance from Claire] Don’t forget your lunch.”

Kate and I race out to the car, and I try not to hydroplane on all the rivers in the neighborhood. Now, we only live a mile from school. This means the kids get a free bus ride every morning, courtesy of our school district. When we first moved here, they thought it was the Best Thing Ever that they got to ride this bus. That glory faded fast, and within weeks they were begging me to just drive them. I always tell them no, they are lucky they get a free ride on that bus and that they don’t have to sit in traffic.

On that morning, that first day of school, traffic sucked. Y’all know what I’m talking about. Drop-off traffic on the first week of school is pretty much like driving through LA at rush hour. It’s awful. I cheerfully explained all of this to Kate while we waited in line to drop her off. “Do you see all these cars? THIS is why you take the bus. This is crazy. I bet the car line will be almost to our neighborhood when I’m on my way home.” I was pretty much right on that one. Those kids must have been 40 minutes late for class.

Success.

I did make it back home, a few minutes before we had to walk out to meet the elementary bus. By then, it had stopped raining for the most part, and I was able to take some pictures. Also, since then, the morning rush has been significantly smoother.

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Jumping over the river on the way to the bus stop.

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I loved that we had rain that morning. It makes everything look so much more interesting. Clouds and reflections. I could do with more of those.

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On day 2, we had no rain. And we knew when the bus arrived, which allowed us to plan better and actually get Second Day of School pics.

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How was your first day of school? Please tell me a story about how yours went. It can’t just be me. Right?