Work with me, please.


Tomorrow is the first day of school for Mae. Already! Jay has another two weeks of summer vacation. Mae has let us know already how unfair she thinks this is and I’m sure she’ll expound upon that thought over the next two weeks.

Last Thursday, I picked up the school supplies for both kids. I visited two stores and spent two hours and 75 bucks shopping for a third grader and kindergartner. What ever happened to plain old paper and pencils? I don’t remember using a highlighter before high school. Also, Mae’s third grade list called for “grading pens.” Fortunately, I saw a teacher I know in the school supply aisles. She told me any colored pen would do, just no blue or black. So, why do they need grading pens and colored pencils?

When Mae and Jay were both at private school, I thought tuition could have been stretched to cover the costs of tissues and hand soap. For Mae’s public school classroom, we’re asked to take hand sanitizer and disinfectant wipes in addition to nose tissues and hand soap. I give up on trying to understand this.

Mae’s school hosted a meet-and-greet last Thursday. I met the four third grade teachers and school counselor, and my initial impressions are all good. I had a good conversation with the school counselor. I asked if she’d be willing to be a safe place for Mae if she has difficulties during the school day. I asked also what’s the best way for me to communicate to the third grade teachers Mae’s strengths and weaknesses, and what has worked in terms of managing her. The counselor recommended that I send an email this weekend with some bullets and then follow up with a meeting request once things settle down a bit. She described the third grade teacher group as nurturing. That was good to hear, and she herself strikes me as a good listener and thoughtful person.

Mae and I talked today about this transition to a new environment, rules and people. She seems less nervous than I am. When I asked her what it means to be a good student and friend, she said all of the right things. So, in the words of Kahlil Gibran, I guess it’s time to bend the bow and let the arrow go forth.

My mother arrived yesterday for a two week stay. So, one of Mae’s gripes is that Jay will have more time with Nonnie than she. Ironically, I suspect that Jay will be pining for Mae all day long; he’s still pretty attached to her. This is going to be a challenge for him and Nonnie, keeping him engaged all day long for two weeks.

Hubby began his green smoothie revolution last week. The kids have been great about it, even though they haven’t liked every recipe. Yesterday, he convinced Nonnie to try a kale and fruit cocktail. This is a woman who brought canned sausage and canned salmon in her suitcase from SC, and brought a cooler with oxtails and sausage pudding . . . on Amtrak.

As Hubby was gathering the ingredients, Nonnie said she would prefer to cook her kale with fatback. Surprise of all surprises, she liked the smoothie and said she would be willing to eat more . . . and try it herself back in SC! At one point, she did say Hubby should have put butter in the blender too. She was kidding, I think. I’ve been enjoying the smoothies myself, though I haven’t had one that was filling enough to substitute for dinner. We have to work on that. Plus, I realized last week that there is something about chewing that makes me feel like I’ve eaten. I like that feeling.

Making healthy choices seems to get harder as I get older, which is the opposite of what I expected. I skipped my last yoga session on Thursday, my excuse being that I needed to buy school supplies. An hour of yoga is a lot! I think 30 minutes would be more my speed. I’ve continued going to the gym, though I know I can and should work harder than I do if I really want to get rid of my “fatty” stomach. I see a personal trainer in my future.

I made it to the gym this morning. I’m now waiting at the hair salon while Mae gets her back-to-school ‘do. Then, it’s on to lunch with my mother before the final hours of getting ready for what will be a trying week, at least for me. Some chewing will comfort me as I prepare to pull back the bow.

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