Monday, August 18, 2014

First Day of School

I am standing out by the mail box about five feet from the road. My bare feet in the cool wet grass are antithetical to the sweat that I can feel beading up on the back of my neck. The sun shines down and I am glad I am wearing my hat on this warm August morning. My eleven year old brother and I are waiting for the bus. This is his first day in middle school. I watch him wandering about the grass, stooping down and watching little creatures in the dirt. His backpack looks like a turtle shell; he is entirely too close to the road. "Come here, don't be so close to the road." I tell him. I put my arm on his back.

Waiting for the bus!

Mom has already left to take the twins to their Headstart school. When I woke up this morning it was because Mom came in calling for reinforcements. There was a missing shoe crisis. The two year old has this thing about shoes. He takes any shoes and all shoes and puts them on his feet, "Dese mine." He will say. And they get lost. So we three, Mom, Savannah and I, looked frantically all through the house for the missing shoe. One boy kept saying his tummy hurt and he was hungry, "You're going to eat at school" we told him, then the moanings increased when he saw his older brother eating a bowl of cerial. (He doesn't eat breakfast at his middle school) The two youngest kept declaring that they wanted to go to school, or asked for food, or asked to be held. We never found the shoe but got a new pair instead. "I want socks!" whined the shoeless boy when he saw his sandals. Finally though they were ready to leave. A hug and kiss for each and they were headed out the door.

Finally I had a chance to get dressed. I was wearing jogging capris and my favorite old T-shirt my older brother gave me. Silly things to wear to bed I know but they were the first thing I saw and I was really tired last night from the long day we had yesterday. I changed as quickly as possible and looked in the mirror. I had bed hair seriously bad. If you think my beach hair is crazy then I don't know what you would say if you saw me in the mornings. I ran a brush through my bangs to try to tame them but that wasn't happening with the admonishment of my flat iron first. I didn't have time then because I had to get outside to wait for the bus. This is going to be a hat morning I told myself.

So here we are my little brother and I, waiting for the bus and it turns out I had time for the flat iron anyways. "Are you excited?" I ask. He shakes his head, "Yeah" We hear a vehical approaching and crane our necks to see over the little rise in the road. No, its just an old bug car. "Are you nervous?" "Yeah" He looks down at the ground again and watches a centipede.

I think back to my elementary school days. I have been home-schooled most of my life but for a brief while I had a go at the public school system. I remember my first day Mom dropped me off at the door and I went inside. It was very big and reminded me of a hospital. I didn't know where I was going but I went anyways. The principle though, found me and told me what room number my class was. With a little difficulty I found it and my days in Mrs. Gilley's third grade class began. That first day we were shown all around the school. When we came to the gym there was a wall made out of protruding bricks. Quick as a wink I climbed almost to the ceiling on that wall. I scared my teacher and awed my class mates. Once I was unjustly given my first and only red card. Another time my teacher was late and I had to go to mean Mrs. Cockroach's (Her real name was Mrs. Cockrel) dark cave-like classroom. It was exactly opposite to the friendly sunny classroom I had grown used to. Mrs. Gilley read James and the Giant Peach, and before class I had some math tutoring for a while. The book selection at the school library was disappointing. I got teased on the playground a little and had only one friend. My class mates were mostly nice though, but Jamie was the only one who would play with me. Paige made a little paper thing that you open and close and lift the flaps to find the hidden words. All of them said yes except one which said no. She leaned over to Bentley and asked would you kiss Lydia H.? He picked one but when he got yes hurriedly asked where the no was. That hurt my feelings. Many adventures befell me, like Earth Day when we went around picking up tiny bits of trash and the practice fire drill when we all sat in the parking lot for hours and I got heat stroke. A fireman came to the library once.

I watch my little brother and worry about him. I worry if he can find his class room, I worry if he will get picked on. I worry about him being able to make friends. We wait a long time. He begins complaining about the heat. Finally we hear the unmistakable wheezing kind of sound the bus makes. My little brother jumps with excitement.  “Okay the bus is here!” I say, “Remember to talk with a normal voice and not to whisper.  Listen carefully to your teacher!” He nods his head. The doors open and the bus drivers smile. I give him a kiss. He climbs aboard and doesn’t look back as I wave and smile. Off he goes, first day of middle school.
This is a new part of our lives. Everything is changing, but I think this will be good for us. God has a plan and right now public school seems to be a part of that plan. For everything there is a season. 

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