It was back to school week, and if you sent someone back to school or if you went back yourself, I hope it was a great start, full of good energy and ideas and new relationships and community. Summer has its own adventures and learning and playing and exploring, but I also am wishing for all of you with kids that the summer slide isn’t too intense. Caleb kept up with his reading on his own, he being a kid that reads under the blankets and while eating and in the car, but I can only keep my fingers crossed for everything else.


Sending Caleb back was more stressful for me as an adult and as a parent than I recall going back to school as a teacher, although I do vaguely remember the nervous energy running through me, fingers clicking pens and tapping on my desk as I waited for the students to stream in. That was a lifetime ago, though.


Now, instead, I’ve sent Caleb off to school with a tin of magic pencils, each one chosen with care and love and maybe a little anxiety. Up late at night, I rummaged around through my stationery hoards, having turned into a stationery elf myself, opening up boxes of things stored away and covered in drywall dust and renovation debris, sharpening them up, lining up all pencils with their pointy tips, while whispering unhinged thoughts to myself. Just babies still! But also not babies. Which is the problem.


In any case, the kids are off and I’m at home with the baby, contemplating all the dangers of the school yard, ones that seem to multiplying faster as life moves faster than ever. Walking to school by themselves, keeping up with homework, the race to keep up with all the other, superior, more intelligent, wilier tiger moms, the imminent and looming threat of kids, my kids, with phones, with social media, with the Internet, with all the things kids need to know to survive with their peers. The only reason my kids should have a phone is to text me at hourly intervals throughout the day to let me know they’re okay.


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September 07, 2022 — Liz Chan


Lisa RR

Lisa RR said:

Have a very good year at school, Caleb!
Those are lovely pencils.

yes September always seems like a restart to the year.
And now the days are getting shorter, and the evenings cooler.

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