Thursday, August 30, 2012

Phase 3 of the First Day of School

About 20 minutes before Silas arrived, my stomach knotted into a solid contraction that still hasn't let up.  At 3:15, Eden and I crossed the street and sit on a shady wall to wait for yellow face of the bus to poke over the hill.  The bus with windows tinted so dark it's impossible to see the kids hissed to a stop, and Silas stepped off grinning, his backpack dwarfing his lean little body.  I watched him, reading his day in his springy steps and even little skip down the sidewalk to our front door.

He didn't have much to say, as usual, so I asked as many questions as I could think of: no, he didn't know the games in PE but yes they were fun -- no details; no, he didn't talk to any kids in his class at all or learn any names (really?); no, he didn't know what the assignment was that led to the piece of lined paper -- each line 3 times narrower than any he's ever been asked to write on before -- he brought home on which he'd written "this sumr I;" yes, he learned something about his teacher -- she loves gummy bears; yes, music would be tomorrow.  A good enough report for day 1.

Then the needling began, Silas instigating.  Eden whining.  Eden crying.  Silas taunting.  I listened, entirely unsure of what Silas needed and will need post-school -- time with me? time alone? up time? down time? park time? -- but knowing it's something that I ought to help provide.  Instantly the bright energy I'd worn muscling through the day gave way, and Fall feels long, impossibly long, and while I'm at it, dark and cold and riddled with unknown weather-patterns and winter-rhythms, full of dirty dishes/lunch boxes/snack bags/tupperware.  What will we do every day to bridge the time from school to bed?  Currently, my coping mechanism is to hide in the kitchen "making dinner" with a glass of wine, answering all knocks by barking "having time alone!" which so far is working.  I'm pretty sure, though, that especially once a baby arrives, this isn't going to fly for an evening ritual...

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