Monday, August 25, 2008

Sleep tight

photo: the day after, headed to school, plus our cabinets came in, plus its trash day....

(originally posted over at Rice Daddies, where only the coolest daddies hang out)

Shhh, it's the last night of summer and the kids are in bed.

Princess Pony is asleep, her thumb in her mouth. Tomorrow she’ll be in first grade. She’s out like a light, always calm in the face of new adventures. It helps that she knows her new teacher from when her big brother was in that class.

Rabbit Dragon is still awake, rolling around in my bed. He’s nervous about his new third grade class. “Daddy,” he realizes, snuggled in my blankets, “in cursive I know all the lower case letters but not the upper case ones!” I tell him not to worry; he’s got a whole year of third grade ahead of him.

Mrs. Thisislarry is in the Philippines this week on business, and she’s the one with the good to-do lists. I’m more of a ‘visualize what you’ll be wearing today’ kind of guy lately, so I’ve got to think a bit: backpacks? Check. Sweatshirts? Hmmmm. Lunch? I’ll make it tomorrow. Thank goodness the kids are older and more resilient. If I forget to pack the right Quaker Oats bar I’ll get a dirty look tomorrow, but no meltdowns.

It’s the last night of summer. Forget what the calendar says, tomorrow the kids are back in school, and that means summer is over.

Goodbye daily drop-offs and pickups at day-camps with funny names like Galileo and Jefunira. Hello drops-offs and pick-ups at good ol’ Palo Verde.

Goodbye homemade lunches of baloney, fruit and shelf-stable chocolate milk. Hello homemade lunches of baloney, fruit, and shelf-stable chocolate milk. Plus a snack.

Goodbye bad influences from unfamiliar older kids at Y camp. Hello bad influences from renowned troublemakers at after-school kids’ club.

Goodbye teeth-gnashing about “did I pick the right camps for the kids this summer? Who are these counselors?” Hello teeth-gnashing about “how’s the third grade class looking this year? Who’s this teacher?”

Tomorrow, we’re up early, got to make sure Princess and Dragon are full of waffles and milk before we all walk to the big day, see parents I’ve not seen since June, trade quick vacation stories and remark about how much the kids have grown, and don’t the kinders look smaller every year.

But for now, it’s just me awake in the house, for the last few hours of the last night of summer. Daddy duties done for another day.