School started today.
At least it did for Tabitha and Lauren. Home Campus doesn't get truly up and running until tomorrow, but Not Bad President Elementary opened its doors in earnest at 8:15 sharp this morning.
We've been getting ready for this for a while now.
We have scoured the emporia of Our Little Town for pencils, erasers, folders, paper, and other effluvia of modern primary education not provided by the grudging tax dollars of the community.
We went to NBPE last Thursday evening, along with several hundred other parents, and stood in long lines scattered all across the school in order to turn in reams of paperwork and more than a few checks for various things - milk money, lunch money, yearbook money, assignment notebook money, fees, entitlements, tithes, feudal dues and assessed liens, all of which require separate checks. And no fair combining kids on one check, either - separate fees, separate kids, separate checks.
NBPE must get some kind of kickback from the check-printing places. I should certainly hope so, anyway, although they must not have gotten much of a deal since we had to go buy all that effluvia. Graft is a skill, people - you have to work at it.
Kim and the girls spent most of the weekend printing off labels and affixing them to each separate item of effluvia, one after the other including individual tissues, piling the labeled bits and pieces into containers, and stacking the containers like cordwood in my office for handy reference and transportation.
I went in to NBPE on Monday to meet with Tabitha's teacher and go over basic food allergy procedures - a ritual we go through every fall. It's part of the trade that allows us to avoid homeschooling. Mr. B seemed pretty okay with it. He brought in the mixes he uses for the cupcakes and frosting that he passes out during the year and had me check them, and he saved a grapefruit from anaphylactic shock by jabbing it with an expired Epi-pen - it helps to get the feel of a real one, as they do pack more of a punch than you'd think and you don't want them bouncing off when you're trying to administer them. Afterward, I took the opportunity to deliver all of the various bags and containers of labeled effluvia to both Tabitha and Lauren's class. Next year I'm renting a mule.
All that remained, really, was to get the girls themselves in place.
Tabitha is an experienced hand at all this by now, being a Big Fourth Grader. She calmly picked out her outfit and got her stuff ready, and she was set. For Lauren, there is still the excitement of it all. She's headed into First Grade, which is still an Exciting Grade with no small amount of Fear And Trepidation as well.
But she had her outfit picked a week ago.
Psych! You can't really tell what their outfits were in that picture. So sorry.
It was cold here this morning - in the 40s, though it warmed up to the low 70s by the afternoon - so future generations will just have their sweatshirts and sweaters to judge things by. Trust me, though, there were cute outfits under there.
We slid right into our old routines, which were right where we left them in June, next to the back porch. Alarms. Clothes. Breakfast. Hair. Aimless milling about. Panicked rush at the last minute. Arrival just in the nick of time. Yep, nothing's changed.
Tabitha, as befits her advanced years, wanted a more dignified send off this year. So we did our goodbyes at home or on the sidewalk outside of the school and it was only purely coincidental that our path to Lauren's door took us past the fourth grade door, really it was. Lauren still wanted us to hang out with her until she went in, and we were glad to do that. Soon she will be a Big Fourth Grader too and we won't even get out of the car when we drop them both off, but for now we get hugs and waves goodbye as she marched bravely off to the wilderness of First Grade.
A whole new year of learning awaits! For all of us.