Over the next week, we'll have four first days of school. Annie got us started bright and early this morning, heading off to her first day of fifth grade. She's always been the kind of girl who lays out her clothes the night before the first day, but this year she also laid out her jewelry, had me blow-dry her hair, and she had the straightening iron plugged in almost before she got her alarm clock turned off. Although she protested about how nervous she was over starting a new year, I know this will be a great year for Annie. She's back with the same kids (28 of the 30 kids in her class are returning), she has a great teacher, and after two years in this school, she knows the ropes.
Bryce and Isaac will start tomorrow (6th and 1st grades, respectively) at the charter school down the street. Maren's first day back at the Montessori school is Thursday (and yes, she's already crying about me leaving her). Because I opted not to teach this fall, I don't go back until next Monday. And then, we'll all be in the swing of things for a whole day before Isaac has surgery on his leg and everything gets all turned upside down again.
As far as summers go, this has been a good one. For one thing, it hasn't been a scorcher. I used to dread summers in Texas, where we'd be all cooped up in the house all summer long. I was grumpy with the kids and eager to get out of town to where it was cooler and get the dang summer over with. But this summer, the kids were big enough to occupy themselves for long stretches and the weather was gorgeous so they played outside. And, oh yeah, I spent two weeks in Chicago and Minnesota and another two in Alaska.