First Day Back

Three boxes of 64-count crayons, a box of ten washable markers, one calligraphy marker, two dry erase markers, two boxes of facial tissue, four one-subject notebooks, one drawing tablet, four pocket folders, twenty #2 pencils, one large eraser, six red pens, one yellow highlighter, twenty-four colored pencils, pencil sharpener with cap, two rulers in inches and centimeters, two glue stickers, scissors, small calculator, one pair of gym shoes, a clean sock for erasing the dry erase board . . . and one small box for supplies.

Hair: newly bobbed, slicked back in a headband.  Outfit: Orange tee and jeans.

Socks: clean.  Breakfast: Eaten.  Teeth: brushed.

Shoes:  amazing.*

Mother: more than ready.

Kid: already in the car, honking the horn.

Ride: quiet, until we see the school down the street.

“Do you want me to walk you inside, just this once?”

“No.  I’m a third-grader not a kindergartener.”

“Okay, if you’re sure.  You have a lot of stuff to carry.”

“I”m sure.”

“All right.”

“You’re the best, Mom.”



I pulled up in front of the Lower School building.  She unbuckled, leaned up, and kissed my cheek.  “I love you.”

“I love you, too.  Have a good day.”

“I will.”

She backed out of the car, dragging her overfull backpack and shopping bag  full of tissue boxes and art supplies after her.  She slammed the door, and started up the walk, my cool third-grader in orange tee-shirt and funky sneakers.

Halfway there, she turned and smiled at me.  Just checking.

She looked back once again at the entrance and waved.    I’m pretty sure it wasn’t a shooing motion—she dropped her bag to blow me a kiss.

Then she bumped her way inside and was gone.


*Sunny wanted me to mention that her shoes are identically amazing.  You can’t tell, but the shoelaces are sparkly, too: