Tuesday, September 05, 2017

first day of school

For nearly all Wisconsin kids, school begins today. We used to have earlier starts here in Madison, but we are a state that relies heavily on tourism (and the availability of older kids to help keep those tourist spots running smoothly all the way through Labor Day) and so the tourist industry lobbied heavily for a uniform post-September 1st start day and sure enough, the law here now says -- unless you can demonstrate exceptional circumstances, your district, indeed, all Wisconsin districts must wait until after Labor Day.

Is there a downside? Well yes. Many educators argue that Wisconsin does no favor to high school kids who want to take Advanced Placement exams -- always scheduled in May. Our high schoolers have fewer reading weeks to prepare. There is the inevitable debate as to whether the current law should be repealed, but I'm guessing that the Wisconsin Dells people will prevail over the AP eggheads every time.

Preschools and private schools follow this statewide directive and so Snowdrop's first day of the new school year began today. Since her school isn't too far from the farmette (about a ten minute drive), I offer to meet the young family there at drop off time to take the little one's "first day of school" photo.

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I make a whole morning of it: I first go to the bakery to pick up some breakfast breads and, too, snacks for Snowdrop and then I pull up by the school (I'm about twenty minutes ahead of schedule, that's how focused I am on this important event!) to wait for the arrival of the young family.

I watch other families arrive with their children. Just about everyone takes a photo of their child's "first day of school." For once, I am not the only camera clad person there.

The young parents used this as the little girl's "first day of school" photo:

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And yes, Snowdrop is that happy about her return to school!

And here's a first for Ed and for me this fall (or more accurately -- late summer): a breakfast... in the sunroom!

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When the temperature on the porch is still below 60F (15C) at breakfast time, it's far nicer to eat indoors, bathed in the sunshine of a lovely day. (You think Ed might need a beard and hair trim? I think so too. I get to it soon after breakfast.)

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I pick up the little girl from school at a later hour.
Sweater change? -- I ask the teacher. (She'd been in a yellow cardigan this morning.)
Yes, she dug into her cubby and found stuff she wanted to put on...

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Where to? Predictably, we go adventuring. But it's cold today and the wind is strong! She swings for a bit in the lake front park and then we make our way back to the farmette.

She hasn't napped. (Quiet time at school has the bulk of kids napping, but that's not Snowdrop: she sleeps on her own terms. Reliably, but when she is ready; at school, she was not ready).

I worry about her stamina, but she holds steady and stays strong. What's the big deal?!

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Ahah! Come eat at my restaurant! I have some carrots for you!

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And peas! 

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Ahah, wait here for some more foods! I'm going to get them!
Ed -- she has more energy than ever...

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(And he continues) -- how is it that she is just like you: serving food, wanting to please through eating together? I guess it must be genetic...

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(A pause for reading...)

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And then the day draws quickly to a close. Calmly, sweetly. The girl goes home. For once, Ed joins me in dinner preparations.

It's a beautiful day to be exactly where we are today....