Although I’d been sailing along pretty happily with our home life–some reading, some writing, much painting and playing and cleaning–the kids have been nudging me toward school this past week. When we got Katherine’s teacher information and supply list in the mail a couple of days ago, the questions about “When can we get supplies” started. We now have supplies for both kids labeled, bagged, and ready for open house in two weeks. Kentucky schools start in early August, and we’re likely to see a good six weeks of heat before things cool off, so there’s really no point in trying to think of “new school clothes.” All of the kids will be in summer sandals and shorts well into September.
Nathaniel is doing everything possible to show me he’s ready for kindergarten. When he pointed out that his old sneakers had several holes (they’ve been great for mud and hiking and yard play this summer), we dug out his new ones. And then I remembered that I foolishly bought shoes with laces. I wouldn’t have, except that he’s now in a size where that’s normal; apparently they don’t realize that some five-year-olds just have big feet. But Nathaniel surprised me. I quickly tied his shoes once, a bit distracted, and he said, “That was too fast. Do it again.” When I’d done it a second time, more slowly, he tried it himself and got nearly all the way to the end. In less than a day, he was tying his shoes perfectly, with much celebrating by Katherine and me (we’re both still scarred from her efforts to learn that skill). This morning, Nathaniel also showed me a wiggly front tooth. He really needs to slow down with the business of growing up!
Sydney’s lined up to teach several classes at Asbury this year, so we have, for the next several months anyway, a game plan that involves dual employment in the same location. Two weeks from Wednesday, we’ll be putting Nathaniel on the bus, and then Katherine half an hour later (two different schools), and then Sydney and I will walk in to work together. We’re teaching two sections of the “welcome to college” class for freshmen. And that, ladies and gentlemen, is a day I’ve been looking forward to for almost seven years, when all four members of our house will go to school! I love the easy cuddles and drawn-out breakfasts of summer, but I love even more when my kids have lives that extend beyond mine, with interests, friends, and activities of their own.
I do, though, really enjoy having my husband work at the same place. We went to college together, one week after marrying we started graduate school together (on the same floor of the same building of the same university), we once had graduate teaching offices across the hall from one another (that was a bit much for Sydney), and last spring I proctored one of Sydney’s exams at Asbury. I think our students are split between horror and giggles at the prospect of having both of us during their college careers.