Today was the first day of school here. I love the smell of #2 pencils in the morning. Boys #1 and 2 are, amazingly enough (to me, at least), in 8th and 5th grade this year. They were up early on this steamy hot day, with backpacks that had been packed up several days ago with new school supplies. Their lunches were ready to go, and so were they. They were excited to get to school early to find out which friends were in their classes. It's sort of funny--for the last couple of weeks whenever they were asked if they were excited to go back to school the answer was, for both of them, a definite "No." Yet they were excited to get to school. I, on the other hand, have sort of been looking forward to the start of school for a week or so. Looking forward to having some free time to myself without the constant presence of my "assistants", as I love to call them. I love the routine of the school year yet I know that that routine soon becomes a grind. But I was ready to get started too. What really suprised me about today was that when I left the school after having gone with them and checked the class lists, exchanged pleasantries with other parents and teachers, and brought my baked-at-11:30-last-night-sour-cream-coffee-cake to the first day coffee, I felt a little sad walking away. I think I had gotten used to hanging out with my two assistants and it felt strange not to be with them. I also realize that I have a lot of "free time" facing me. They always say, "be careful what you wish for.." But I have a new project in mind.....I'm busy cooking something up. More to follow.