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Twas the night before school

School tomorrow, and new adventures. Katie begins high school. I'm not sure what to think. I remember high school, and in my mind, it wasn't that long ago. Now, I have a kid of my own that age. Was I ever that young, really? She turns fifteen soon. Fifteen for me was the Challenger explosion and Peter Gabriel. It was discovering I really enjoyed writing and creating and really enjoyed programming, two a-ha moments from which I've never fully recovered. She's in honors classes, art, piano, and playing like a virtuoso. Where will she have her a-ha moments? What am I to encourage?

Andrew, first grade, a completely different child in so many ways. For every ounce of finesse in the other, Andrew is as much a bull in a china shop — not to mention a scientist who is into everything, detail-oriented, and damn persistent. And beneath it all, stubborn as the rest, a heart of gold. All fine qualities which need to be massaged and coaxed into proper expression... a different kind of encouragement. A different kind of challenge.

Tonight, a flurry of preparation and activity and hanging on to summer's last moments. This is the earliest I've ever seen school start. There are rumors of an even earlier start in 2012-13, early August. I can't confirm that, but it wouldn't surprise me, either — and though as a student I would probably rage against it, I can see the perfect logic in lining up college semesters and public school semesters and the holiday season so everything runs more smoothly. I'm all for things running more smoothly. I'll even add a "hell yes" to that sentiment.

Not perfectly smooth this evening, but not terrible, either. In a week we will be back in the old familiar routine — homework, dinner, a little of this and that, then off to bed. Again, something I would rage against as a student, but which now makes perfect sense. Funny how time can change your perspective.

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