It just occurred to me that we have only a little over three weeks until school starts. Where oh where did the summer go? It seems like we were just dealing with Graceful's tonsillectomy in early June and now I'm sorting through pencils, markers, crayons, and other assorted supplies.
I have to tell you that Elegant is really quite pleased with herself this summer. You see, she'll be in second grade and second graders -- unlike those baby first graders -- are required to have scissors. SCISSORS, I tell you. You know, for all that cutting they'll be doing. And, to really boost her happiness levels, second graders can have MARKERS. That's in addition to colored pencils and the 48 count box of crayons. Really, these are big kids indeed.
I say that somewhat jokingly, but this is a clear line of demarcation between kindergarten and first grade and then the rest of elementary school. Having gone through second grade with Graceful, I can tell you that there's much more responsibility in second grade. More independent work. More writing and more homework. These kids are so responsible that they are allowed to check out TWO books from the school library. Take that first graders.
And Graceful will be in third grade this year. [Sob. My baby!] Third grade is huge because it's the first year with major standardized testing with potentially serious ramifications: The Standards of Learning (aka the SOLs or, in this house, the SOBs). The Commonwealth of Virginia, like so many other states run by idiots (aka Republicans) has placed a lot of emphasis on the SOLs. Results supposedly say a lot about a school and its faculty. I say BULLSHIT to that because all the SOLs really do is force teachers to spend far too much time teaching to the test and preparing students for the test instead of actually, you know, teaching the children.
But that's just my opinion. I do seem to have a few of those.
So we're simultaneously gearing up for the new school year and trying to squeeze as much fun into our remaining days of summer as possible.
Today, for example, I swung by the ever fabulous Melissa's house and kidnapped Griffin (7) and Ethan (4) for the afternoon. At only four weeks post-partum, Melissa was baking a pie and even wearing a damn apron. Actually, it's this groovy smock thing she made that I need to get a photo of. Amazing.
So, the four children and I went to the park, where they ran off their ya-ya's. 90 minutes into our adventure, we heard a rumble of thunder and hightailed it back to the minivan. We weren't about to let a storm ruin our fun, so we rolled over to Ben & Jerry's for some ice cream and interesting conversation.
Then, and only then, did I return the boys to their rightful home. They were tired and filthy and Ethan cried that it was over. I'm pretty sure we'll have fun again next week. After all, isn't that what summer is all about?