Friday, August 28, 2015

Testing, Testing

Today Maeve takes her very first ever standardized test.

I am determined not to be dead set against this thing, although I mistrust it. After all, this semester it will take just 20 minutes of her time, so it's hopefully not dominating her teacher's schedule too badly this year.

But if my child is one of those who gets anxiety about tests, at some point in the future, you can bet I will be pulling her from excessive tests and making sure she knows these tests, though important to her school, are not actually any kind of measure of herself, personally.

I really, really hate the testing culture that has overtaken our educational system in this country and I keep hoping and hoping the pendulum will finally swing the other way.

But for today, go ahead and measure my kid with your test, Jefferson County. If it means that much to you, you can have 20 minutes of her time today. But after that, please leave us the %*@& alone!

Because, really? Her genius is immesurable.

Friday, August 21, 2015

Hold My Hand

Hold My Hand

She had been pushing my hand away all summer.
Didn't want to hold it, not when we
 crossed the street or were in a parking lot,
she was too old for that.

I felt sad every time I reached out for her hand
and she pushed it away.
Angry, too, and I made her hold it
for safety, I told her, drivers still can't see you.

So we did a push and pull, all summer long.

And then we were walking to Kindergarten,
familiar route, new destination.
She wasn't scared, not for a minute,
but she did reach out her hand for mine.

I knew, right then, that my handholding lease
had been extended, just for awhile.
I did not take it for granted,
but grasped her gently.

Knowing she will not always need this.
Need me.
But right now, she needs me.
Hold my hand.

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

School Aged Kiddo

Our family has entered a new phase. We have a before and after-school routine now every day. Next month there will be homework, and I've already scheduled her for the beginning of the year standardized test.

I am the mother of a school-aged kid now.

I introduced myself to one of the other moms yesterday, and am definitely going to keep talking to them. I hope Maeve eventually makes some friends in her class, but that's not really her goal right now. She's just working on how to be in the classroom, how to be a good student and helper. And I remember how long it took her last year to really make friends with other kids.

Maeve did a great job on her first day of school, I even heard from her that her clip got moved for doing something well - not sure what, she's pretty fuzzy on the details. She also reported singing the Going on a Bear Hunt song, which is an oldie but a goodie in the Kindergarten sphere.

Today? Day two. Ready to get in the groove.

Friday, August 14, 2015

Until Yesterday

I wasn't worried about Maeve starting Kindergarten until yesterday.

Yesterday we met her teacher, Mrs. F, who seems totally wonderful. But the school only hired her two weeks ago, and she doesn't have a kindergarten classroom, she has a wherever they could find room for her classroom. That means: no potty. The bathroom is three hallways away. Gulp.

And I realized I need to figure out what should go in her backpack. And I have to write her name on it somewhere. And what is Maeve going to wear on her first day? And should I plan activities for after school or not?

And I think I understand how dropoff is supposed to work, but it's so not like preschool. At all. Is Maeve going to remember to hang up her backpack and coat? Will she remember which ones are hers at the end of the day?

And what will I do when other kids are unkind to her? What will I do if she's unkind to someone else's kid?

Oh heavens to Betsy, what am I getting myself in for?

I mean, I get almost 3 hours to myself every day. Maybe I will manage not to spend all three of them worrying about what could go wrong.

Just breathe, Momma.

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Happy 9 Years!

Once upon a time, I fell in love.

I had had these feelings before, but previously in my life, I had studiously avoided saying anything about being in love because it seemed like a bad idea. It probably was. But not saying anything hadn't worked out very well for me, so I decided to take a different tack.

So, curled up with The Husband, at an hour at which I am now always asleep, and after watching one of our favorite movies, After Life, I told him I was in love with him.

I know. I probably should have said I was interested in dating him, or I thought he was cute or something, right? I kind of skipped that step. I was 25 and I was not messing around this time.

But he looked at me with only a hint of surprise in his eyes, and said he felt the same way.

That was ten years ago, now, and I still startle myself in retrospect with how I just came out and said it. Way to go, me. You got what you wanted. And you chose wisely.

It's my ninth wedding anniversary today, and I am still so very glad I spoke my mind all those years ago. Nine years since joining my life to his, and we are still together, still in love, despite what life has thrown at us. This is the good life.