Here we are again, another school year beginning. We have been following this ritual for many years now, since the fall of 2000 to be precise, but this year was a little different as our younger child started high school, while the elder headed off to college.
Because the Girl got into a performing arts program she is attending a different school than her brother. For the first time she has teachers who did not know him. Since most of his teachers have loved him over the years, this has both its upside and its downside. On the one hand she doesn't have to live up to his prior good performances. On the flip side, she doesn't have the residual good will he built up either.
The new music program did produce a few panicked moments as when after 3 plus weeks of camping trips with various family members, she picked up her viola to practice and came back downstairs 5 minutes later in tears, announcing that she had forgotten everything she had ever learned about viola (she's played for 4 years!) and would never be able to play again. The next day things were fine again.
She started back first, the Wednesday before Labor Day. Of course she changed her mind a dozen times as to what she would be wearing. Eventually she settled up her favorite pair of boot cut jeans, a shirt with a screen printed tiger on it, and a new pair of short black boots. I heard no complaints about it when she came home so it was apparently successful.
She met up with two old friends from summer programs, and made a new one before the day was out. She also had a senior boy speak to her in French II.
What, you expected pictures? Not in high school they don't. Besides I leave for work about the same time her alarm goes off in the morning.
Because the Girl started school on Wednesday, she wasn't able to go with us on Friday to take her brother to college. She was not happy about this. Her brother rode along in the car to take her to school, then came back to finish loading the car.
The trip to the college, 3 hrs away, was uneventful, until we got to the college and dealt with a small town's network of one way streets. After considerable driving around in circles we found a spot near the dorms, and a group of enthusiastic upperclassmen descended on the car to help unload. (They were disappointed to learn that the girl scout cookie boxes contained school supplies and not bribes.)
After we unloaded we went to lunch in the dining hall, went back to the dorm to unpack, then attended his matriculation ceremony. We dropped the Boy back at his dorm (so we would be headed in the right direction on the Map Quest), and he walked off, having done "last hugs" before we got into the car.
The trip home was a nightmare. What should have taken 2 1/2 hours took an hour longer. About an hour into our trip we came to a spot where highway crews were constructing a new on ramp. The old ramp had been closed, traffic was down to one lane, and that lane was a total standstill. In an hour we moved 5 miles. At least half an hour of that time we were sitting still. To the simple stress of being stuck in stress was the added problem of the slow draining of our gas tank. Fortunately we cleared the jam in time to find a gas station, and made it home in plenty of time for the Girl to enjoy her first night of being an "only child".
Friends had warned me that I would cry, repeatedly, as I left my "baby boy" behind. But I didn't, partly because my husband kept passing me notes with suggestions as to how the ceremony could be sped up. I was smiling too much to cry. And on the way home I was too preoccupied with the traffic snarls (and the needle on the gas tank) to brood much about what had just happened. But more importantly, I found the moment to be a happy one. This was what we had raised him for. He was in just the sort of college we had wanted for him. He was off to school and off to life.
When I sat down that night to watch the baseball game alone--that was another story.
I am hooking up today to the I Don't Like Mondays Blog Hop at Elleroy Was Here along with a lot of other great bloggers. Check it out