Yesterday was Kate's first day of middle school. She was nervous, but not as bad as I thought she would be - considering. The school was nice enough to plan a private first day for seventh graders, so they could do all their fumbling around - schedules in hand - without worrying about upper classmen pointing and laughing at them. Isn't that nice? Then the 7th graders stayed home today while the 8th and 9th graders had their own first day. The elementary school started today too, so that's two first days in a row for me, with two "Back to School" events yesterday as well. One from 2-4, the other from 5-7. We've been a little busy here.
After getting Kate off yesterday, I had the strangest morning. It was so . . . normal. I unloaded the previous night's dishes and cleaned up breakfast, did a load of laundry after picking up a bit, finished getting ready, ran some errands with the little kids. It felt strangely familiar, like my old life before the move. I kind of liked it! A life with some semblance of routine and order. Ahhhh.
I was still at the "Back to School" event at the elementary school, trying to get Will set up for orchestra, when Kate called to say she was ready to be picked up. I was SO relieved to hear she had a good day. She is such a little Hermione. I have been so worried about her not having any friends and thinking how hard that would be starting Jr. High. But that's because I was a social butterfly, and certainly not as comfortable with myself as Kate is with herself. I was always looking for validation from other people based on all the shallowest of things, and it's a wonder I did as well as I did in school considering how much my brain was focused on myself and how I looked, who I was hanging out with, etc.
But not Kate. When I asked her how her day was, she said "great!" and when I asked her why, she said it was because she has really great teachers and she found her way to all her classes. That's it.
Sometimes we transfer way more of ourselves and our issues onto our kids than we should, and I find I do this with Kate more often than not. And Kate is NOT me. Kate is her own perfect self. Here she is heading out yesterday morning:
I also got a picture of her working on opening her locker, but she made me delete it! (She's not totally immune to insecurities . . .)
After a little break, we turned around and went to Kate's "Back to School" thingy where we got to meet all 8 of her teachers, see her locker, sign up for more stuff I don't have time for (that happened at the elementary school as well), and then because of the time of day, we went to Barbacoa for dinner. (I'll never complain when we go out to dinner, even if I do like to cook. It's the clean up that bugs!)
The BEST part of the day was when Kate, Will, Elizabeth and I biked about three miles round trip past the middle school and back home again, the sun setting on the mountains, crickets calling, sprinklers going off and shining in the sun everywhere, kids out playing in the streets, American flags flying all over the place, people waving to us from their cars. I hate to admit it, but it really does feel safer here. Safer, slower, saner - like life in America 50 years ago, but with ipods and Vans. Kate and Will took off ahead of us about half way back, and I didn't even think twice about it. Every place has it's issues to be sure, but there's a "niceness" here I can't quite put my finger on. (Could it just be all those darn Mormons?)
Today wasn't so "nice". Well, it started off nice. Brandon and I walked the two middle kids the short distance to the elementary school for their first day. Everyone seems to have really great teachers and the facilities at both schools are phenomenal. Having grown up in the mid-west going to school in ancient brick boxes, these schools are amazingly nice and new. Here they are in their first day duds:
(Other than Elizabeth's shirt that I picked up at the mega-grocery store, no one had any new shoes, clothes, or backpacks to speak of. I don't know what is happening to me as I get older - am I getting lazier, less sentimental, or just more practical?)
Brandon took Will, and it turned out he didn't need any "tucking in", so neither of us got any other pictures of him, but I couldn't resist peeking into Elizabeth's room while she was lining up outside with her class.
Once those two were settled, I was feeling the "Back to School" love and whipped up a batch of Rice Krispies for an after school snack before Kate, Rachael and I took off to go do the dreaded deed: jean shopping. Kate hates shopping even more than I do, but since she is growing up and doesn't always fit or like what I bring home, I told her she HAD to go with me to try the dumb things on. What a day we had. In addition to the joy of mall culture (man, do we love making fun of the LAME expressions on the models faces!), the highlight was when she was standing over a toilet getting ready to throw up while I was using the teeny tiny toddler potty in the family restroom we were using.
Now it's 11pm, and poor Kate is here in bed next to me after throwing up TWELVE times today! Brandon gave her an oral anti-naseau medication which she threw up, so he called in and picked up another type of anti-nauseau medication taken the OTHER way if you know what I mean. (Serious perks to a doctor in the house.) Kate was so desperate she did it. That was about 2 hours ago, but she still threw up about 15 minutes ago. I feel so bad for her. Tomorrow is the first "real" day with all three grades and I'm sure TONS of information from the teachers, but there is no way she can make it. She is going to be so weak and tired tomorrow. Poor girl!
But we did score some great jeans at Express for only twelve bucks . . .