Thursday, September 20, 2018

Back to school

Yes, the kids are finally back in school! Finally, because in our town school doesn’t start until after Labor Day. I should add that we finally figured out the late start here and that out this year- squeezed in a quick trip over that long weekend. It is all a bit funny here with high school sports starting in August and competitions starting before school does. In fact, Tori had her first varsity tennis match the day before school (a win in tie break).

All a bit funny too as we realize this was Tori’s last first day of high school!Her teary-eyed parents held on tight to most traditions. We had the schuletutes and lots of photos. We forgot to write the poem for each kid’s first day but we copied an internet thing and made a sign that said the year. (All those first day pictures with the same schuletutes was getting confusing). The only real difference was that Tori invited 10 of her friends over for brunch as school had a delayed opening. We loved seeing all the senior girls dressed up. Adam didn’t mind all the fuss. He came downstairs, saw all the food and said “a houser breakfast!” He meant the big breakfasts we used to make with international student athletes housed with us in Munich. Definitely more fruit, bacon and baked goods than the usual morning around here.
The other big difference is that senior girls drive. Tori drives she just doesn’t have a car. But as they all drove off to school and she climbed into our car, I could tell she wanted to. All of a sudden I realized the school day was different with the seniors leaving campus to eat lunch. The twins are thrilled as they move up the lunch space ladder at the high school. I think they are now in the gym and aspire to the cafeteria as juniors. But Tori is a free bird. And as it should be, I suppose. Every thought that pops into my head is along the lines of- she will be even more free next year.

Of course, she is ready and of course she will do fine. Somehow it is lunch that pulls at my heart strings. Thinking of the kids first eating in their classroom in Hong Kong and graduating to the cafeteria for the later years. Of Royce writing me the note- “I am the one who doesn’t like pesto in my lunch!” In our Munich cafeteria, I used to peek from the cappuccino bar to see if the kids had someone to sit with for the hour-long break. In the states, lunch is more fluid, with kids sitting with different friends on different days. And now apparently so fluid it is no longer at school. But I will keep writing notes on their napkins. They don't need a note but I need to write one.


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