Another School Year Begins

Tomorrow is the first day of school here in our little pocket of Phoenix. Some districts started last week and most will start next week.  I think of the office products commercial where the work-at-home dad is dancing in the aisles of school supplies in front of dour-faced kids to the tune of “The Happiest Time of the Year.”

We went shopping for the basics as the high school kids find out what they need from teachers the first week of class. And, miraculously, we found the excess loose-leaf paper and mechanical pencils purchased last year. This year, Emma opted for no backpack in favor of an oversized tote/purse combo. Since there are no lockers at school, she has  a home set of books and a classroom set. No need to lug around the inch-and-a-half thick textbooks…just a binder or two with dividers, a pencil/pen bag and some incidentals.

Summer seemed to race by in some ways and to drag along in others. We are moving into the hottest part of the summer so school supplies here include frozen bottles of water and sunscreen. My daughter is starting her second year of high school at Desert Vista, and at least for the next month, I’ll drive her back and forth to avoid her having to walk even a 1/4 mile in 90-degree morning temps and 110+ degree afternoon temps. It just seems wrong to have to start your day in a pool of sweat and failed deoderant.

I think she is looking forward to the start of school a little (though she’d never let on). It’s been a bit of a boring summer for her. Summer school filled the first 3 weeks and a solo visit to grandparents filled the last 2 weeks, but in between was time to be filled in a climate that doesn’t lend itself to lots of outdoor activities for the very pale Irish complexion. It was easier when she was younger. Since I have always worked at home, I could arrange my schedule somewhat or have babysitters come in when she was very young and day camps when she was older. Fifteen is one of those difficult in-between ages. Too young to work and drive, too old (in her mind) for camps and activities, not really interested enough in what I do to be a “summer intern”.

So even though it seems early to many, we start back to school tomorrow looking ahead to a week off in October. I confess I’m looking forward to getting a routine back in place.

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