Sunday, July 12, 2015

quietly sniffing new crayons in the corner

I took Nico shopping for his school supplies this evening. I thought about waiting to see if there were any better sales two weeks from now, but then decided stuff was already cheap enough. I had to go to Walmart anyway to buy stuff for work and Nico was already with me, so it made sense to go ahead and get his things. I let him pick out muscle car notebooks and puppy dog folders and a light-up Cars backpack. I can't believe my baby starts kindergarten in a month. I'm trying not to be too dramatic about it, but it feels like a big serious End to this really great gig we've had going for the past 5 1/2 years. I keep realizing all over again that from August 10th on, he will only be able to go to Pump it Up and library programs and the creek on weekends or days off school. We'll only be able to have playdates on the weekends. I'm trying to stay upbeat because I don't want him to be nervous, but * I * am nervous. I'm worried kids will make fun of him for having a folder with a puppy sitting in a pink chair on the front or for having the wrong clothes or for loving Lightning McQueen. I'm worried a teacher will be sharp with him about his unending questions and quash his immense curiosity. I'm afraid standardized testing and common core will ruin his love of learning. I have no idea where to take him on the first day of school or if I'm supposed to walk him to his classroom or where his classroom even is. I need a letter with detailed instructions! Or something! HELP ME, SCHOOL. I am REALLY GOOD at following instructions, if you'll just give me some!

Elliott will start preschool about a month after Nico starts kindergarten. I don't think that has sunk in yet. He is beyond ready. I think I'll be okay since it's the same preschool Nico attended with the same teachers. They will send me a detailed instructional letter, and I already know where to take him and pick him up. I'm sure I'll be back here hand-flapping in a few weeks when I buy his school supplies. My little birdies, leaving the nest! I briefly considered trying to rearrange my work schedule so that I can be off in time to pick Nico up from school, but the only way to do that would be to give up my Mondays off with Elliott. As nice as it would be to see N at 3:30 vs 5:30, I quickly decided to keep Mondays. It seems more fair - I have had Mondays off as my hanging out with kid(s) day ever since I went back to work after having Nico. He got his five years of Mondays with me, and I think Elliott should, too. Once E starts Kindergarten, though, I think I will try to work out a different schedule. Somebody remind me in 2018.

I'm also having a quiet oh-shit moment because tomorrow I will be mailing in my application to start a chapter of Navigators USA (co-ed secular Scouts, basically). I needed five kids to start a troop and so far have had twelve ask to sign up. I like that Navigators is super low-key and self-guided, but I'm also freaking out a little bit because that means I basically have to make the whole thing up as I go. I think I am going to adapt the requirements from the old science and nature Brownie Girl Scout badges that I spent years teaching at my previous job, and see how that goes. Any time I start to panic a little, I remind myself that we only have to do one year. If everyone hates it or it's just no fun, we don't have to keep going. Of course I'm hoping it's great, or at least mostly enjoyable. I also remind myself that a coworker of one of my best friends is raising two girls by herself, works full time, and managed to be their Girl Scout leader and PTA president, so this shouldn't be that impossible. Right? I really, really need to focus and get some meeting plans written out for at least the first few months so I don't end up scrambling and half-assing it once school starts. If any of you have kids in Scouts, would you mind telling me some things that your troop has done that you have really liked? Also, would it be easier to remember if your kid had a thing that met every other week, or if it met on set weeks, such as always the 2nd and 4th Wednesday of the month, even if that sometimes meant having two weeks off between meetings?

And I believe I am going to send Nico to a sex ed class for kids starting in September. That seems crazy to even say. He is FIVE. But three women I know and like very much are certified to teach this OWL "lifespan sexuality education" class and it sounds pretty great. I recognize that for all my good intentions I am not well-equipped to teach my child all the things I want him to learn about sexuality and consent and respect and acceptance. I also like the idea of him learning things from appropriately-trained adults before he learns them from kids at school. I won't say the Harry Potter reminder is a downer, either. I suppose I shall report back if anyone is curious. I'd also love (LOVE) to hear about it if someone else's kid has taken this course.

Is that everything I'm quietly freaking out about today? I think so. Regardless, I should go to bed. I am teaching half-day nature camp all week, for one girl and twelve boys ages four through six. I suspect I will be very, very tired. Perhaps it'll be good immersion practice for being a scout leader.


  1. I haven't bought school supplies yet because even though there's a list on the school's website, the teachers always want a few things a little different and just easier for me to wait until open house to confirm what's needed and get those things. It's always after the main sales, but whatever. Henry goes to kindergarten next month too, and it gives me a nervous tummy about the whole thing but since I've been through it once, I'm confident that the teachers won't dampen his spirit (or Nico's!) I think kindergarten teachers are made from a different fabric than the rest of us.

  2. i cannot believe it's already time for kindergarten. where does the time go???