Are you ready for school? Some of us are and some of us are not. Sarah, Noah and Amy are ready. Their backpacks, bags of school supplies and clothes for tomorrow morning are piled by the front door. There are also three large flags leaning on the door, because all teenage girls carry an armload of flags to and from school. Well, they do over here. I think she uses them to send signals to boys. Two of the going-to-school-tomorrow children are in their bed sleeping. One is in the bathroom trying to scrape printing ink off of herself. She will probably go to school with turquoise splotches on her face and hands, but at least her summer assignments are completed. She doesn’t have a padlock for her locker yet. Last May, she decided to put it in a safe place where her younger siblings couldn’t destroy or lose it. That safe place was her ceiling fan. Last week, she started trying to get it down. You know what you forget over the summer? Lock combinations. Lockers won’t be assigned for weeks, so she’ll be fine.
We ran in the red bulls-eye store for Amy’s gel pens and watched the other people buying school supplies. I’ve been doing this for so long that I can guess other children’s ages by the supplies in their cart. Tonight I realized the difference between the college students living in dorms and the students living in the Fort. The dorm student had a cart full of completely coordinated bedding, bath and desk accessories. The student living in the Fort had the same items, with an additional two boxes of rat poison, half a dozen mousetraps and 4 cans of bug spray. I wish they would buy smoke detectors and fire extinguishers.
Tommy and Evan are far from ready for their schools that start a week after the public schools. They will be ready long before I am ready for them to begin their different but equally monumental new experiences.