Julia wrote me a poem:
A School Playground in the summer
You do not see
kids playing 4 square
You do not see them swinging on a wing,
or sliding down a slide.
You do not see kids on the spinny
monkey bars or sitting
atop the regular ones.
You do not see this
once school is done.
You don't see children
playing sports, or slimbing
what they climbe.
An empty school playground
in the summer
can feel lonely inside.
That's a real uplifting sort of poem.
Julia also drew me a book of lovely pastel pictures and wrote the following message on the back:
I'll love you forever, I'll like you for always, As long as I'm with you My mommy you'll be.
I think this is the second year in a row that Julia accidentally wished me a happy Halloween instead of birthday. I can tell what holiday she's getting excited for...
Finally, Julia made me this handy-dandy hair clip, because we all want to attach things to our head with a paper clip, right?:
Madeleine cried because she only had one gift for me and she FORGOT to make me anything else. Luckily it was a SUPER AWESOME gift because it's a picture of a unicorn and a "cool connector":
The Unicorn's tail spells "Mommy."
ME: Thank you, honey!
MADELEINE: Do ya love it?
ME: I do love it.
MADELEINE: Do ya lyve it?
ME: I love it.
MADELEINE: But do ya LYVE it?
ME: Uh...I think I love it.
MADELEINE: Mommy. "Lyve" is when you love it but you LIKE it too.
ME: Oh. Okay. Yes. I lyve it.
Thank you, my sweet girls.
Now, today is not only my birthday, but it's the first day of school! 4th and 1st grades: hard to believe!
I walked the girls to school and dropped Julia on the playground, where the 4th graders were to gather. Then I brought Madeleine in to the performance center to find her 1st grade class and teachers. All went smoothly until the class lined up to walk to their classroom, and Madeleine suddenly decided it was a tragedy that she was carrying her bag of media books to return and didn't know what she was supposed to do with them. Holding the bag towards me and looking at me with watery eyes and a quivering lip, she slowly followed the line out the performance center door.
ME: Ask your teacher when you get to your classroom.
MADELEINE: (imploringly holding the bag towards me, eyes filling)
ME: Ask your teacher.
MADELEINE: (lip quivering, holding the bag out)
I'm glad she cried on the first day. Things are off to a good start. Luckily, I flagged down her teacher and alerted her to the problem, and the teacher was able to reassure Madeleine that they would return the books to the media center once they had settled into class.
I then headed back outside to say good-bye to Julia, just in time to see her 4th grade teacher tell the line of kids it was time to go in. I then watched the line of 4th graders start walking off in the opposite direction, towards the nearest door, despite the teacher calling out, "This way, guys. Face me. This way." Did anybody turn around? Nope. Like sheep, they all continued doddering along in the direction that the line leader was going. I had to run over and wrangle kids back in the correct direction and the teacher jokingly asked me, "You'll be here all day, right?"
Speaking of a good start. Sheesh. Let's hope the kids' brains turn back on once they shake off the rust from the summer months!