I remember going to Logan's new school orientation last spring. He is at Ray Middle School now, as a sixth grader. I did not stop to think about the small changes that would upset him, uh, I mean, me. New location, new teachers, new principal, oh, and yes, new supplies and things like lockers.
Lockers. Aren't they for gyms...and high schoolers?
My mind flashes back to the Kindergarten orientation at Nate Perry in the spring of 2008. He was littler, his voice softer, and he was cuter (he's now "handsome"). And he still thought Dad and I were gods.
"Don't worry; it'll be fun," I said last night as I frantically packed a lunch and helped him sort his multitude of supplies that we had only just purchased the day prior (Labor Day), as I had not time to do it sooner this year. "You'll see, once you get there and see your friends, you'll forget you were even concerned."
"I can take my iPad as long as it is kept locked," he said this morning.
"When did you find out?" I asked.
"At the orientation."
"They said nothing about that."
"No, at the one we attended with the school."
I'd forgotten that though he came with us to the parent orientation at Ray Middle last spring, that he was not invited. The school did a separate orientation for the students. "Oh. Well let's get dressed and eat," I said.
I literally wandered the first few rows at Wal-Mart Monday looking like a deer in headlights. "What the heck are folders with clasps?" Logan wondered. As a writer, I at least know this. But I could not find the rulers. Of course, I always avoided math. "Don't we have rulers?" my husband asked. "Yes." I said. That's it, yes. We have them. I don't know where they are, but we have them. Luckily they are cheap, and though I don't like Wal-Mart's employment policies they are cheap and did manage to have all the back-to-school stuff up front in one neat section, including fruit chews, and they did not have Halloween stuff out already. Well, yes, one costume. At least I think it was a costume. Maybe it was a goth back-to-school outfit. (They were starting to put out Halloween stuff when we got there late Monday afternoon.) Remind me to hug the social studies teacher for only requiring one item. People, this is supposed to be a paperless society!
It is easier to focus on iPads and stressing on supplies you can't find (I had other parents in the store pointing me in the direction of rulers and binders and I still forgot one binder) than to worry about the true things: My son is getting older, and he's almost a teen. He has muscles and his legs are longer than mine, though they probably were when he was six (I have stubby legs). He is exhibiting an attitude with sentences that always begin with a huff, sigh, and "Fine!" He is considered a tween and he now takes the earlier bus and will be in school with teens...yes...some of the 7th graders will be or are 13.
New bus and new driver. Will he drive safely? Will Logan be bored? He was wondering if he'd see any friends on the bus; I was wondering if I'd cry when the bus took off. Yes. Guess which question that answers?
"You're starting out earlier in the day, but you'll be home sooner!" I said, grasping at straws and knowing full well he'd fill that extra hour with additional homework. Shhhh.
As I saw him off, taking pictures of course and being annoying as I always am, I resigned myself to the fact that the summer season is done for 2014, though I will miss it. Memories of everything we did this summer flashed before my eyes like a TV sitcom flashback. The Pride and Scottish Festivals; vacationing near Atlantic City and at Wellesley Island; working on our deck "expansion"; Logan tarring the roof and tarring his body; swimming in our river; walking the neighborhood; barbecues; boating; kayaking; camping. Did we do enough? Did we do those things we did enough times? Why is it over already?
I love and always welcome Fall, but this year, somehow, I really did not want him to get on that bus. Maybe if he didn't board the bus, he would not grow up. There I go again.
I knew he'd be fine once he sat on Keith's bus, Route 35-1 in and 35-2 back home.
Why aren't crayons on his school shopping list anymore?
And someone please tell me what the heck a book sock is?
Happy new school year, parents. (I know the kids will be fine.)