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This morning, I awoke to thunder.  I had planned to do a run with some kettlebells thrown in.  Running outside suddenly seemed like a death wish.  I managed a short kettlebell workout at the gym.  At home, I don’t have the heaviest weight I use in the kettlebells class.  I did eke out one mile outside, after my workout.  The rain had mostly disappeared by then and the sky lightened. Thunder growled once and the rain started up again in earnest, but it wasn’t too bad.

It’s the first day of school!  Yay!  Or not, if you’re Zac, who is still sleeping.  Jonathon made bacon and cinnamon rolls this morning.  You’d think the aroma of bacon wafting up the stairs would be enough to rouse any zombie-like teenage boy.

It doesn’t feel like the first day.  I’ve got Ruby’s stuff together, all the communal school supplies that make up public school these days.  She’s got a new backpack since the old one our neighbor gave us finally bit the dust.  Don’t worry, I got the new one at a deep discount.  We met Ruby’s teachers last night, the English-speaking side and the Spanish-speaking side.  They seem nice enough.  Both are new to the school this year.

The good part about all of this is that Ruby’s best friends – at least the kids she’s known since kindergarten – are in class with her.  She’s got James and Angel and Misael, formerly an arch enemy, and a couple of others.  Her locker-cubby is next to James’s locker-cubby.  Ruby put on a brave face but I know she still misses her kindergarten teacher.  So do I.  I’m afraid I’ve compared all her teachers to the fabulous Mrs. K. They all come up short.

Last night, I asked Ruby if she wanted one of us to walk her to class or to be dropped off for her first day of second grade.  She waffled.  At first, she just wanted to be dropped off.  She looked resigned.  Then she changed her mind.

I walked her to 2nd grade this morning.  She tightened her new backpack and we lugged the bulky bags of kleenex, hand sanitizer, pencils, binders and spiral-bound notebooks to her new classroom.  We stuffed her things in her cubby and searched for her seat.

“Hey, Ruby!” James called.  “Your seat is there.”  He pointed to a seat kitty-corner from him, at the same table.  Ruby sank down, the seriousness of the situation hit.  Her eyes reflected her sadness.  Summer is over.  School is back in session.  I hugged her neck and walked out.

I spoke to a placement counselor this morning about what classes Zac will take for his 9th grade year.  His elective?  Computer programming.  Nothing will be operational (uploaded) until tomorrow.  He gets one more day of freedom.  He’s heartbroken.

I’m waiting for the feelings to catch up to the day.  Right now, I’m a little down.  I have plenty to do today but summer, at least for schoolagers, took its last bow yesterday.   I know Ruby will have great stories to share with us about her first day of second grade. And slowly but surely, the kids are becoming more independent. I’m not sure I like it.

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