Back to school

This week we jumped back in with both feet– or all dozen feet, in our case. Everybody started school on the same day. Quinny officially became a preschooler, while Claire is the veteran in her final year of preschool (in a room with a stunning ocean view!). Chloe had her first day of high school(!), while Will had his first day in a new high school. By 9am the house was empty and my head was spinning. I was alone at home for the first time in months…

As we find our way through these early days of the school year, I am struck by an unavoidable fact: we are no longer newcomers. This is a strange idea for a mom who has taken her kids into six new school systems through the years. But I stood outside Quinn’s classroom yesterday with a group of moms waiting for pickup, and I was the only one who had lived in town for more than a year. I went to a first day coffee at the JCC and I knew almost everyone in the room. We stopped at the playground after preschool today and I found myself hugging moms and feeling genuinely happy to see them again. Oh my gosh! I’m not just acclimated, I’m integrated! We’re starting our fourth year at the JCC with the littles, and our seventh year (minus one for Will’s year at Brooks) in the MHD schools.

So do I have a sense of belonging here? Marblehead, maybe. New England, no. I guess I’ll always feel like a red person in a blue region… know what I mean? Political conversations I overhear in Starbucks make me want to throw my coffee at the wall! I’m sure I’m just experiencing heightened sensitivity during this election year– as I recall, 2004 election season was a similar low point for me living in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. It’ll end.

Meanwhile, today was Will’s first soccer game (at home) and tomorrow morning is Chloe’s first cross country meet (away… with tropical storm Hanna coming in by morning). Will had a great game– 2 goals and 2 assists– in an easy win for the team. It was really fun to be out on the sidelines in Marblehead again with some of the parents we stood with during all those youth soccer years. And it was fun to watch Will succeed– he’s so fluid on the field, and with his ability to see things off the ball, he makes some truly sweet passes. One little sideways spin of his cleat and he’s set up a perfect goal for the other forward (it was like a basketball breakaway drawing the defender and dishing to the teammate who puts in a layup).

Tonight, before tomorrow’s “hurricane Hanna run,” Chloe had her first team dinner. Before every Saturday meet the 50+ members of the boys’ and girls’ cross country teams meet for dinner at a teammate’s house. Kind of a neat tradition, but I wasn’t exactly racing for the sign up sheet at last night’s team meeting– our magic house would POP if we tried to host that! After dinner she came home and packed up her umbrella, galoshes, waders and raincoat. Well, actually not, given that she doesn’t even like to wear sweats. But we did our best to prepare her for the rain, and we put an extra garbage bag in her duffel to gather up all that soggy, muddy gear when she finishes her run.

I’ll post the sports schedules on the main blog page if you want to keep up, but for now you can find them on the MHS athletics website. I’m signing off to go find a rain poncho I have stowed in the basement. I’m sure Chloe won’t want to take it, but it makes me feel better. Enjoy being dry, all you inland folks!

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