Wednesday, September 02, 2009

A New School Year Begins

I posted that shortly after returning home from dropping the Liam off for his first day as a first grader. That's amazing to even write. And it brings on a flood of memories from a summer that was alternately stressful and wonderful. And there's that small pang that Liam is taking one more step toward growing up, and inevitably, away.

The morning started off with his usual grumbling about school, even as I tried to play up the fact that he would get to see all of his friends. And he missed his friends terribly over the summer. He couldn't get enough play dates to satisfy his constant hunger for companionship.

When we arrived at school, Liam gave Ms. G, the director, a High 5, and walked straight into class. His school puts two grades in each class, so he's still in a K/1 class. Having the same teacher for the second year made the start almost a non-event for him. He found his new table, and immediately began making his name tag without anyone explaining to him what he ought to be doing. That's a big deal for him.

Then he turned to the new Kindergartner next to him and began explaining everything about NOCCS and, of course, Star Wars. That taken care of, he went in search of his buddy, Kai. And lo, Kai was wearing the exact same Lego Star Wars shirt that Liam had under his jacket.

I watched as the new teaching assistant, Oscar, watched the comparison of Star Wars shirts and I thought, "Oscar, that's everything you need to know about these two. Good luck." Later, Liam came home with his first light saber drawing of the year. Probably the first of 180 we'll see this year. Sigh.

Still, I couldn't help but notice how independent he seemed. Such a contrast to last year. Grown up, but not completely. When I got home, Liam wanted to play Caillou and Rosie. And he wanted to read a Thomas The Train book for bed. Still a bit of that little boy left inside there.

Still a little bit of the boy who doesn't feel any embarrassment about putting on the Pink Power Ranger costume when his cousins came to visit:

Jen took Kalian to pre-school and true to form, Kalian was giddy and couldn't get there soon enough. Such stereotypes, these children of mine. She has a new teacher, who I have yet to meet. But there was very little drama, I'm told.

So closes another summer. I'll remember our big trip to Yosemite. Our fabulous trip to Family Camp. And how both taught me that the key to any happy vacation is to make sure my children have friends with them.

I'll remember Liam's fixation with wanting to sell everything he owns to get money to buy more stuff. And how Kalian seemed to become more precocious by the day.

We survived our first round of summer camps and the extreme juggling skills that required.

We limped through a final week where Jen threw her back out just as her sister came for a visit from Korea with two cousins. The same cousins who apparently managed to convert our two kids to God-fearing Christians during their brief visit. (Liam spent one evening crying that mommy and daddy were going to a bad place because we didn't believe in God).

But we made it. Across the finnish line. And so I'm ready for Fall, and some calm.

Monday, August 31, 2009

Back from Yosemite

Well, we actually got back more than a week ago. But what a week it's been.

Just as I was about to leave for work last Monday, Jen threw her back out while doing Yoga. I stayed home on sick leave the whole week to take care of her and the kids. And on top of that, her sister who lives in South Korea came to visit for two days. So stress levels were high and exhaustion was felt by all.

But I finally found some time to put together some of our photos and videos from the trip: