After "meh" first days and a few small bumps and bruises, both kids are settling into their new school years.
I, on the other hand, am not. Yet. But my day is coming.
We are trying SO hard to embrace and appreciate the good - returning to school buildings and regular academic schedules with teachers the kids can speak to face-to-face, exciting new academic opportunities and extracurriculars (Hallie is THRILLED about science labs and Will has enthusiastically joined the debate team), and rekindling relationships with friends they hadn't seen in 18 months - which is of course the point behind these posts. And while we absolutely are embracing and do appreciate all of this good, I would be remiss if I didn't also mention the cloud hanging over all of our heads...the shadow that casts darkness across all of this light: we live in Texas, where protecting children from this pandemic is not a priority for many of our lawmakers and school leaders. Better put, protecting children from this pandemic has become a shameful, embarrassing, dangerous, and deadly political game. I have fought hard, and I will continue fighting, alongside a number of remarkable (mostly) women, against this madness and for the health and safety of my and all kids. We're tired and frustrated, heartbroken and furious, but we're still fighting. When all of our kids are protected...that's when I'll be able to settle into this school year.
We still have sweet Curly and precious Aretha, who in the absence of "their" kids, have taken a liking - and developed quite the attachment - to me. Curly is basically an adorable toddler and Buddy the Elf combined and compressed into a kitten:
Mom. Mom. Mom. Mom. Do you want to play? What if I bring you a toy? Mom. Mom. Mom. Mom. Can I have a snack? I'm b...o...r...e...d... I'm h...u...n...g...r...y... Mom. Mom. Mom. Mom. I love you so much! Do you love me? Let's hug and snuggle all day!
He gets SO excited when Hallie and Kara walk through the door after school.
Aretha is making tremendous progress. She comes with us more willingly when we pick her up from her safe space (the little bed we made for her behind the toilet), lets us carry her nestled up against our bodies instead of only in her sweatshirt, and has started to explore small spaces for short periods of time. She seems to enjoy the living room when we're sitting quietly watching television, and she likes both Will and Hallie's rooms as well. I actually shed a tear the first time she climbed off of my lap and onto the desk - she stayed huddled behind my computer for a while (peaking over the top of the screen from time to time to make sure I was still sitting in my chair) but eventually she laid down and even relaxed a little. She's getting there, and she's going to make an amazing fur baby!
Will's high school kicked off the school year with an outdoor event called "Welcome to the Jungle", at which the football players were introduced and the band, cheerleaders, and dance team performed. I wasn't all that interested in the football players (though I am somewhat excited about high school football games), but I was interested in watching the other groups take the field so I asked Will if he wanted to go. Not surprisingly, he didn't - it was outside in Texas in August and he had soccer practice an hour later - but when Hallie heard me talking about it she decided she wanted to go. So Hallie and I went to our first high school event together, and while we were a little late and missed most of the fun, it was exciting for both of us...and made me glad that she's not heading there quite yet.
Hallie and I spent most of Saturday at - and then worrying about - Nutcracker auditions. Thankfully the turnaround time between audition and casting was much less this year than it's been in years past, and by Monday afternoon we knew that she would be dancing as a party girl in this year's production!
|Still providing - and crushing - virtual live music |
for faculty meetings 18 months after it all began!
|Don't my parents look cute all dolled up?|
|Out for alligator in between soccer games. (They like |
to go big when they dine out without Hallie and me.)