Back-To-School Takes



We went to the pool on Wednesday. I put one toe in the water and realized pool season is over. Amazing, what ten days of cool weather can do. We washed all the suits and are officially retiring the pool until 2013.


I’ve been feverishly juggling end-of-summer, beginning-of-schoolyear commitments with DEADLINES. Which is how the word looks in my mind these days–all caps, rife with foreboding. Still, the process of writing for the religious market always inspires insights. As I was writing about the sacraments yesterday, I found this in the Catechism: “The Anointing of the Sick completes our conformity to the death and Resurrection of Christ, just as Baptism began it. It completes the holy anointings that mark the whole Christian life: that of Baptism which sealed the new life in us, and that of Confirmation which strengthened us for the combat of this life. This last anointing fortifies the end of our earthly life like a solid rampart for the final struggles before entering the Father’s house.” (CCC1523) Isn’t that just a beautiful way to look at it?


We had three First Days in a row this week. Three days, three kids, three schools. Nicholas began the new school year by starting preschool two mornings a week:

Gotta love that belly

Oddly enough, two out of seven kids in his class have the same name, so he’s been dubbed Nick by his teacher. Ah well. It couldn’t remain in my control forever.


On Wednesday, Alex started second grade:

I volunteered to play piano for the holy day Mass, so I snapped a shot or two while Alex was wrapped up in the priest’s homily. (He’s a Dominican, and he always uses tacticle props to engage the kids.)


And Julianna rounded out the week by starting kindergarten on Thursday.

Using Daddy’s backpack, because hers mysteriously vanished at the moment it was time to leave for school. It reapeared late in the afternoon on top of a shelf.

I walked her to the cafeteria, and when I saw the mayhem of almost a hundred kindergarteners, I decided I’d better walk her through the “breakfast” line before leaving.

Whatever, Mom. You and that camera. Just leave already, will you?
(Why yes, your eyes are not deceiving you. What the public school calls “breakfast” is, indeed, Teddy Grahams and icing-covered snack bars. Miss Julianna will not be skipping breakfast at home, let me assure you.)

It was a bit nerve-racking, because I left her without direct supervision, but I reminded myself that if we want her to be able to operate in a generally inclusive environment, we have to, y’know, back off. She came home from school happy, so she seems to have done fine on her first day.


This is my life these days. Note the precarious angle of the sugar canister and the two canisters on the floor. Michael’s four front teeth are coming farther out of his gum every day, and when he smiles it is with a rakish, “My name is trouble” attitude. He’s huge. Christian calls him “Butterball,” and routinely tells people we’re going to have him for Thanksgiving dinner.


As I tucked Nicholas into bed, I asked, “Are you ready for another day of school?”

“Yeah,” he said. “Twenton is the wine wheeler.”

“The what?”

“The wine wheeler.”

“The wine wheeler?” I said blankly. I started doing consonant substitions in my head. “Oh, line. Oh! Line leader!”

“Twenton’s job is to tell ev-wy-one, ‘Wine up!'”

Sounds like good advice to me. Everybody, ’tis the weekend. Wine up!

7 quick takes sm1 7 Quick Takes Friday

11 thoughts on “Back-To-School Takes

  1. Jenny Keely

    That last little bit about Nicholas and the “wine weader” reminds me of the kids book, Hooway for Wodney Wat! Have you read that one? It’s a fun one to read aloud.

  2. Jessica

    I am definitely looking forward to the day I can “wine up!” This back-to-school running around looks crazy, you better wine up, too. 🙂

    • I know the feeling. I told my husband I wanted him to sneak a bottle into the hospital after the baby was born, but once he landed in the NICU I didn’t really feel like drinking anymore. :/

  3. Andrea

    Loveliness everywhere! I can hardly believe what some people consider “breakfast”! How are these kids supposed to learn when they are being pumped full of SUGAR before class begins?!!!!!!!!

    Oh, and no wine where I am tonight. 😦 tell Nicholas to have Twenton wheel some wine over to me with the wine.

  4. Moonshadow

    Line leader is a very important gig. My daughter does not pronounce her r’s and l’s properly. I’m expecting speech / special services for her in the next year or two.

    Last year was our first year with three different schools. Two of them sort of followed the same calendar but not exactly. It was kinda nice having two kids home on some days, or one kid home on another day. I don’t mind spacing out their days off!

    • I’ve been thinking about how to organize the year with more kids some days than others, and I mostly think it’s an opportunity to spend some good one-on-one time with Nicholas that he never seems to get otherwise. We went to the library the first day and made zucchini bread together, and Monday I plan for a playground trip.

  5. evanscove

    That picture of Nicholas with his little belly showing reminded me of a commercial I saw years ago in which a little boy is standing in front of a mirror, pats his stomach and says, “I gotta do something about this root beer belly”!

    But your kids are adorable. I couldn’t help but smile at the picture of your little girl trudging up the school steps, as that backpack is nearly as big as she is! And that remark about the class “wine wheeler” is just too cute!

    Since I don’t have children, I don’t know the “joys” of sending them back to school after summer vacation. Maybe that’s a good thing…

    Have fun being at home with your youngest! Maybe with the older ones in school, you’ll have time to get back to your flute playing.

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