The last Spongebob of freedom

As I write, children all over town are soaking in the best bath they’ve had all season. Tomorrow is the first day of school. Savannah, Seth, and Arwen are watching their last Spongebob of the “summer.”

At 8 a.m. Seth starts real school, not just preschool. Savannah goes into 4th grade, and although Arwen’s preschool won’t start ‘til the end of September, the lives of her two best playmates will be disciplined by the school bell. We have to be dressed and fed and out the door by 7:45, Arwen right along with the rest of us.

I am so excited for them. I hated school in the beginning. Life was quiet on our street, and I had few playmates except a sister as good at fighting as I was. My mother didn’t go out unless it was necessary, and socializing from the grocery cart is not the same as kindergarten. I got into many fights those first months of school. It wasn’t until I had a toddler of my own that I understood why; I saw Savannah making friends everywhere we went, and we went all over Fairfield County, Connecticut and beyond. Now, Savannah looks forward to school the same way she jumps into her little start-ups, but a halfway decent teacher keeps her more motivated. Goal oriented, she’ll have good energy for school for about 7 of the 10 months in session. I don’t even ride her about her homework because she hates the idea of missing her recess.

Before dinner tonight Seth has not acknowledged kindergarten. The last thing he spoke about it was his sadness at leaving his kinderpals classmates in the Spring. I think it’s my fault, ‘cause I talked a lot about the first day of school, his birthday, and his birthday party. He couldn’t keep it straight. If I asked him what he thought of starting kindergarten, he’d say, “When’s my birthday?” They love their countdowns. When I said over stir fry tonight, “You start kindergarten tomorrow!” He said, “Tomorrow?!” and yelled his tameless, nonverbal enthusiasms.

Okay, time to draw his bath.