Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Tuesday Random 5: Back To School Edition

The International Man of Intrigue bought me a fancy schmancy MacBook Air for Mother’s Day. It gave me the feeling I should get up and blog again. Lucky for us all, I decided to lie down until that feeling passed. Now it’s mid-August, mid-day, and mid-laundry, and I feel like indulging all five of you who asked that I start blogging again. The rest of you will just have to put up with me! 

Before I go on into my actual topic for the day, most of you know what we’ve been up to for the last year an a half. Some of you don’t. Here’s the short version, including the addition of Little Explorer Number Four: We moved back to the states two Januarys ago. We miss living overseas and hope to go back after this tour. For now, we’re enjoying eating cheese and walking around Target. In December, little Laura Ingalls Wilder joined our family through adoption. She is the apple of everyone’s eye. Arthur Dent was too busy becoming wrapped around her teeny tiny preemie finger to even notice he’d been unseated as the baby of the family. Amelia Earhart has become more, ahem, in charge, and Gertrude Bell continues being the free spirit she is.

Now, on to today’s topic. As my Facebook friends know, every week on Tuesday I join friends in posting a “Random 5” things. Sometimes it’s really random, and sometimes the observations are connected. This week they all seemed to have to do with school. They also seemed to be longer than usual, so I thought this would be the perfect opportunity to dust off the blog. Here goes!

Tuesday Random 5, Back To School Edition:

1. I try never to drop my kids off for their first day. I leave that task to The International Man of Intrigue if at all possible. I just don’t handle it well. As excited as I was for the constant bickering to end, and the chance to grocery shop with only two kids in tow, I knew I couldn’t see them settling into their new classrooms without tears. Not theirs, mine. I sobbed like a baby when Amelia Earhart rode away on the bus to kindergarten in Sri Lanka. When we got back to the US, she started kindergarten after Christmas. Having done the whole first day of school once already, I handled it like a champ and managed to make it to the parking lot before getting my ugly cry on. Now that The International Man of Intrigue realizes my predisposition to tears, he does his best to take the morning off from global diplomacy and be the parent to have to hold it together.

2. So, Amelia Earhart is entering second grade. On back to school night, she walked up to a group of girls who were in her class last year and said “hi” and called them each by name. They ignored her. Luckily, she didn’t seem to notice, but it made us realize that the days of “mean girls” aren't too far away for her. I know she’s not always nice, but I’ve made it my mission to teach my kids that even if they don’t like someone, they have to be kind. The problem with not being a “mean girl” is that it seems like either you are one, or you’re the target for one. It’s pretty hard to fit anywhere else. I know it’s hard to believe, but I, the amazing Dorothy Gale, spent a good portion of grade school and high school as the target of the mean crowd. Fifth grade was particularly brutal. There was a girl who used to corner me and kick me in the bathroom. There was a boy who would kick me as hard as he could in the shins every time he walked by my desk. My best friend since first grade told me she couldn’t be my friend anymore because she had to go be popular. I spent most of that year with bruised legs and a bruised heart. I grew up in a really small town, so everyone I went to school with probably knows just which jerks I’m talking about. Unfortunately, I also realize, looking back, that I was mean to a few people myself. I think the idea of being even a little less of a loser was to blame, but it’s really not an excuse and I feel terrible about it still. Anyway, all this is to say that I would be heartbroken to find out I raised a kid who was mean. Unfortunately, that means I’ll probably be heartbroken to be raising a kid who is picked on by the mean crowd. 

3.  I am very thankful that our kids got the chance to be Little Explorers. I know there were plenty of people who thought taking them to Sri Lanka was crazy and stupid. Traveling to Nepal, Bangladesh, and across India with three kids 5 and under? Obviously we had hit our heads on something and our brains were worse for the wear. Well, it turns out there was brilliance there after all. (Was there any doubt?) Turns out that one of the extra benefits of taking a year off of preschool to travel the world is courage. Amelia Earhart has always been outgoing and a risk taker. Gertrude Bell is very much an introvert and takes a while to warm up to people. She doesn’t care for new social situations or chaos. She does, however, embrace the opportunity to try new things. She’s participated in some activities with Amelia Earhart’s Girl Scout troop and, while she’s still very much the introvert, she steps up in many situations and ventures outside of her comfort zone to try new things. Yesterday, on the first day of school, Amelia Earhart and Gertrude Bell both hugged The International Man of Intrigue goodbye and started second grade and kindergarten tear free. I wish I could say the same for their parents.

4. “Making the decision to have a child is momentous. It is to decide forever to have your heart go walking around outside your body.” Elizabeth Stone. I never understood this quote until I had kids, and I don’t think I really understood it until I sent my first baby off to school. Ouch. It sums all of it up so well, though, doesn’t it?

5.  As if to wrap up my thoughts on this matter, I heard the theme song to the movie “The Breakfast Club” on the radio this morning. Which kid were you? (I don’t think I have to explain. See #2.)

That’s this week’s Tuesday 5. Should I keep it in blog format or go back to Facebook? Either way, I’ll try to be less serious next week.


  1. Loving both: maybe a short version on fb with a longer version here? If you do it, I'll do it. I'm sometimes grateful Little C has autism as he usually doesn't notice when he's getting picked on. I know, I should hope he doesn't get picked on at all, but then I see all the adults who still bully in some way...

  2. I worry about the bullying all the time. My big girl is shy & sensitive and since the boy has autism I pray he doesn't care.