Wednesday, September 05, 2007

First Day of School

Today marks the beginning of the end for oldest son as it is his last first day of school. He's a senior this year and his younger brother is freshman in the same High School. This is the rare time in their school years that they both are in the same school.

This morning was the usual chaos associated with the first day getting back into a schedule, who took too long in the shower, who needs lunch money, you are not wearing that are you? etc etc.

And so it begins, again and for the last time.

Twelve years ago on first first day of school, my wife and youngest son brought oldest son to the top of the street to wait on the bus that would take him to 1st grade while I recorded the entire event on the world's largest video camera. We waited for what seemed a lifetime and finally the bus came down the street, drove right past us and onto the next corner at the top of the next cul-de-sac. We all ran for the bus while shouting for the driver to wait while I rumbled down the block lugging the huge video camera like paparazzi chasing Brittany. As we approached the bus there wasn't really any time for anything but "goodbye" and oldest son hopped on the bus.

Just then youngest son started crying. At first we thought that he had gotten hurt during the run for the bus - but he thought the bus was leaving without him.

It was.

He was too young for school still but He didn't know that and we didn't think we needed to explain in advance that the bus was coming only for his older brother.

So there we were watching the first school bus leave with our oldest. It was strange feeling. It was the first time he would be on his own and now here we are some 12 years later. This morning I snapped their picture and they headed off for the first day of school together at last. They pretended not to know each other.

The first day of school also brings two things on the first night after school: panic school supply shopping and filling out stacks of forms and "class room expectations".

The boys and I did the panic shopping at Staples tonight. It was a zoo. It was like Christmas shopping. We threw things in the cart and got out of there as quickly as possible. Ka-ching.

Next, I was filling out forms like a mad man. Here are some of the highlights from the classroom expectations and acknowledgments:

  • Notebook check can be announced anytime and without warning. (I'm sure that the teacher is after a surprise here but I'm not even sure this statement makes sense: If you announce it, doesn't that negate the surprise?)
  • No chewing gum is permitted in class. (You can always count on the standards)
  • Work hard but don't forget to laugh and smile. (You know I feel like I'm forgetting something here in the gulag... now what was it? Oh yes, smiling)
  • No Makeup or Spray during class. (Is there a big problem with mace or pepper spray that I wasn't aware of?)(Does this teacher mean applying makeup or do all the girls have to remove it before this class?)
  • Student may only use PENCIL on a test or any other assessment. (OK when you get 35 10 page reports all written in PENCIL, remember - you asked for it).

So these are kind of scary since they come directly for the people responsible for my kids education.

And so we are off and running.

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