Tuesday, September 6, 2011

. . . and They're Off!

Twenty minutes ago my babies boarded a bus for the third and fourth grades.  I absolutely remember both the third and the fourth grades.  My kids are that old now.

My third grade school was Malley Elementary in Denver, Colorado.  My teacher was Miss Lemmon (with the accent over the "o", not the "e").  It was 1979 and she wore long bell bottoms and very colorful tops.  She had long, straight, dark brown hair, and I thought she was beautiful.  I remember her telling us that she could belly dance, and I remember one day her roommate "Ramona" (just like Ramona and Beezus!) brought her lunch to school, and she was also pretty.  I remember doing timed multiplication tables, and being irritated that there was a BOY in my class with the same first name as me.  Ugh.  I remember I lived across the street from a boy named Chris Miller who used to chase me and kiss me.  He was slightly cross-eyed, and I had a secret crush on him.

"It's Still Rock and Roll to Me" by Billy Joel was my favorite song, that and "My Sharona" from the Knack.  I roller skated around the neighborhood with my next door friends, Linda and Julie.  I still played with my dolls, but I didn't really tell people that.  I had a shiny pink satin jacket that I loved.

In fourth grade I attended Baggs Elementary in Cheyenne, Wyoming, because our neighborhood school was full.  So we had to take a bus there, and I remember feeling like it was a gross school.  My brother was in the sixth grade and his classroom was in this trailer that seemed awful.  My teacher, Mr. Bennett, was super mean and he used to throw chalkboard erasers at the students.  And he gave me a D in science, which haunts me to this day.  Fourth grade was kind of gross.  Another new town, no friends at my school, and just basically surviving day-to-day.  Thank goodness I only went to that school one year.  But I remember it pretty well.

And that's how old A and J are now.  They got up this morning with no complaints, got dressed and came downstairs.  Girls are definitely a different creature than my guys.  They just grabbed whatever was on top in their dressers to wear, brushed their teeth, and probably didn't even check themselves out in the mirror.  J had a ham omelet and some hot chocolate, A had waffles and hot chocolate.  They hopped on the bus like it was a regular old school day.  No biggie.  It's such a comfort to see them feel at ease about going to their school.  They've been at the same school, with mostly the same kids, since they started.  They even have the same bus driver.  But they're getting so big, and it's so strange to watch them, knowing they are making memories that they will have forever.  Memories that I will not be involved in, and may very well never know about.

I felt so proud of them this morning, and a little bit sad to see how grown up they are.  Usually I feel like the hubby and I have no idea what we're doing, but we must be doing something right.  We have kids who feel safe and confident, and are unafraid of their future.  I'm in awe of them.

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