School has always started the day after Labor Day in Oregon, just as you put your straw boaters, and white buck shoes away for winter, right up until last year, when it didn't.
It started uncouthly the last week of August.
Out of turn.
I must have been in some kind of fit of denial, because I scheduled Freyja's orthodontist appointment for August 30th, at 10:00am as if that were a reasonable thing to do for a child that was starting MIDDLE SCHOOL.
Thank goodness I am married to Father Of The Year.
He went to the orientation for middle school.
He knew damn well she would not be free at 10:00am on the 30th.
I often feel that because I nearly DIED giving birth to both of my children, and have sewn all the Halloween costumes, that it is Mark's unstated duty to deal with the first day of school.
Needless to say, we rescheduled the ortho for later in the month.
I always, always, always work early in the mornings, and September is my busy time.
So Mark does the first day of school snipe hunt.
Mark is uniquely suited to this duty because he secretly longs to be a stay at home parent.
He lives for meetings and paperwork.
I live for coffee, and routine.
The first day of school is chaotic and messy.
I don't like to see my children upset.
This is how we handled things.
I went to work before my family woke.
Maxwell (who goes to a civilized Oregonian charter school that starts like normal people, the day after Labor Day) walked Freyja to her bus stop, waited for the LATE bus, put her on the bus and went home.
Freyja arrived late, because the bus was LATE.
-Being a Capricorn, she had an anxiety attack over the threat of a tardy slip.
-She then went to school all day.
-Got on the wrong bus (the close, but no cigar bus, that dropped her about a half mile from home).
Mark called home to see how things were going, only to discover that our very babe in the woods girl had not gotten off the bus to meet her punk rock brother and his band.
Maxwell, worried sick about his missing sister, sent Zach P. and Zak L. off toward the middle school looking for the lost girl.
Rolf, upon arriving home with Pearl Bakery bread for a celebratory snack, joined the search.
As four greasy gentlemen scoured the mean streets of East Tabor, Freyja made her way home by cutting through the park, just in time to meet her frantic father, at 5:00pm
I walked in at 6:00 to find my baby eating baguette and jam to the muffled sounds of death metal coming from the basement.
Mark was seated talking Freyja down.
Rolf was serving food.
As I got up to date, I could hear that Freyja's biggest concern was over the late slip.
"Do you want me to call them? Because I will totally call them, you don't need to worry, there will be no late slip.I will burn that shit down"
"Mommy is not burning anything down"
a smile cracks
"you know I would if you needed me to though, right?"
The mood lightens
Long haired boys emerge from the basement for bread.
Many hugs and commiserations are given. People admit to peeing of pants, getting lost, crying.
Mark texts me, even though we are in the same room.
"middle school is OVERWHELMING!"