am I smarter than a first grader?

I hate Mondays. I know everyone says that, but for me it’s really true. I don’t know why, but I really do believe it’s the crummiest day of the week.

I’m always relieved when Tuesday arrives, and I’m always extra happy and surprised when I do have the occasional awesome Monday.

Today, however, was not one of those days. I mean, it wasn’t horrible; it was my average annoying Monday, I’d say. To demonstrate – my first significant conversation of the morning went something like this…

Elena (eating her breakfast at the counter): Mommy, am I going to the bus stop with you today?

Ian (popping up from playing with something on the floor to immediately chime in): No, Elena, I’m not going to school today but you ARE! (In a “so take that!” friendly brother sort of way.)

Me, trying to get a word in: That’s right…Ian doesn’t have school today so no bus stop. (She loves seeing Ian get on the bus and it about makes her week when he blows kisses and waves goodbye as the bus drives off. It’s pretty cute, I must say.)

Elena: Why doesn’t Ian have school today??

Ian: Because it’s a “Budget Reduction Day.” (Ah yes, my favorite new term since becoming an elementary school parent.)

Me, again, trying to get a word in: Well, Elena, because the school district doesn’t have any money to keep school open. (I’d say it was not presented in a sarcastic tone, but then I’d be lying.)

Ian: It’s not that they don’t have ANY money…it’s that they don’t have ENOUGH money to get through the year. There’s a difference.

Ah, starting off my week being corrected by my first grader. Fabulous.

Of course I walked away with my cup of coffee thinking to myself that in my book, operating with 2% reserves – for starters – DOES qualify as not having ANY money, but I suppose that’s beside the point.

Yes indeed, it was a proper Monday.

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happy birthday to you, happy anniversary to us

Ian's First Days - 15Ian turned 7-years-old yesterday. I’ve learned that I’ll probably say this every year that I get to celebrate his birthday, but it truly does seem like just the other day that I Jeff and I drove around the block (because I was too fat to walk) and I walked into Virginia Hospital Center to check in at reception for my scheduled c-section.

The nurse had barely gotten us into the room when I started bawling. Poor lady was trying to comfort me thinking something was actually wrong – but there I was just trying to explain to her – in-between deep breaths – that I was just a little (actually, A LOT) nervous because this was my first surgery and um, HELLO, I was coming out on the other end as a PARENT!! Like, if the rumors I heard were true, we would be taking home a real actual human being that Jeff and I would be responsible for not only keeping alive, but making sure that he/she actually made some sort of contribution to society. I still just wasn’t sure I was ready for all that. I mean, when was I going to fit the gym and shopping and drinks out with friends in with all that new responsibility??

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weekend work

Ready for work

I had to work today. On a Saturday. My sixth day of the week. Yes, like everyone else, I do certainly enjoy my weekends, but these days – more often than not when I must work on the weekends, I admit that it’s not to sit chained to my desk and my computer all day.

Usually, it’s because I’m working an event, as was the case today. This usually means that I get to be a part of some sort of fun/cool/interesting experience at the zoo. There’s only so much one can declare that grueling “work,” right? Today it was for Zoofari, a pretty sweet event for those qualify and register before it fills up, to go behind-the-scenes of five different areas of the zoo.

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pace yourself

Today was the big day: the Jog-A-Thon! Ian did a great job and met his goal exactly by finishing with 14 laps in the 20 minutes. (The track is 200 meters – I’ll let others who enjoy math more than I do figure that one out.)

I volunteered to work the event and was on the morning shift, which worked out quite well since Ian’s class ran just after 9am. There’s definitely a pattern with these little athletes: They come out the gate really strong. As in, really WAY too strong. Then, by the end of the first lap or halfway into the second, they are on their first walking break. So the volunteer/parent mantra of the day is yelling out to the kids, “Pace yourself! Slow down!” Or when they were at the start line at our area – the little pep talk: “Now remember, don’t go too fast or you’ll get tired quickly…you have 20 minutes to run…slow and steady wins the race…” Yeah, well, we might as well be talking to a group of over-eager elementary school kids because… Oh, wait – maybe that was the problem?

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and so it goes

Ian finished kindergarten today. While I was well aware that the start of kindergarten was an emotional thing for many parents, no one ever mentioned that the end could be, well, also “strange.”

I can’t quite put my finger on it, but I think it’s something about experiencing for the first time how quickly the school year passes. One day you are buying supplies for their new classroom and a fast 9.5 months later, they are celebrating the beginning of their summer vacation and looking forward to the next grade. And so it goes. Suddenly, something you thought was so far away you couldn’t even begin to imagine it, is imaginable: graduating from high school and leaving the nest. Or not, as the case may be.

I know, I know. Perhaps I shouldn’t get too ahead of myself…he did just finish kindergarten, after all, so clearly we’ve got a while to go yet. Still – I suspect that other parents who have been through this know what I’m talking about. Ultimately, I’m taking it as a friendly reminder to appreciate this time we have watching our kids grow up because it will be over before we know it.

Ms. Davies gives Ian his kindy diploma, spins him around, taps him with her magic wand and deems him “now a first grader”!

Posing nicely for Mom with his diploma and kindergarten memory rock from Ms. Davies.

Kindergartener no more.