Last week, we started school. Which has led to some musings. Random musings.
Do you remember 8th grade algebra? I do. Loved my teacher, Mrs. Vaughn, who taught me to enjoy math and take some pride in an ability to do it well. I still can't add long columns of numbers, and I'll never know my multiplication tables by heart. But at one point I could do both well enough that I managed a whole year of algebra with a cheap-ass calculator. Peabo and his generation, however, are apparently so mathematically challenged that their 8th grade algebra class requires the firm plunking down of $140. For a calculator.
A calculator that comes with a USB cord and 20 pre-installed apps. It's like an iPod, only, you know, not.
Actually, I could have bought him an iPod at that price. It has a calculator built in. And for a measly $4.99 you can get Angry Birds, too.
That thing does make graphs, though. For my fine-motor challenged Peabo, that's a plus. (Note: math pun. Ha ha.)
Second, the first day of school. Which should maybe be first, not second, except that we bought the calculator first. Or rather, hemorrhaged money in the direction of the local office store.
Our first day of school was rather interesting because after the full backpacks and the big breakfast and the cheery pictures of the kids, there was the earthquake. Because we live on the East Coast, and earthquakes are a fact of life out here.
Except they're NOT. Not ever. So my kids spent their first day of school diving under their desks and then sat outside for two hours getting sunburned for the sake of safety.
For which I am grateful.
My redhead's assessment of his first day of first grade? "The best part was when the earth started shaking! That was awesome! Can we do it again?"
Oh, please no.
But that wasn't enough. Because into the chaos of tracking down med forms and prescriptions and picking up last-minute supplies for the middle schooler, we also added a hurricane.
Yeah, that was fun. We spent hours stocking up on non-perishable food and water in case the power went out (oddly enough, ours didn't - I say oddly because pretty much the whole rest of the world around our one little block is still dark). And then I dragged all the deck furniture inside and stowed my trash cans and pulled my basketball hoop down so it wouldn't blow over.
My kids freaked out. My au pair freaked out. They asked me about flooding and thunder and wind. They stayed up late and panicked. And that's with me firmly NOT telling them there might be tornadoes. Aren't I a good mom?
Of course, I knew there might be tornadoes, so I didn't sleep a wink. My basement is uninhabitable, so I put my kids in a room that was safe from falling trees and spent the night listening to the radio for tornado warnings.
Brilliant recipe for a cranky weekend. Stressed out, sleep-deprived kids combined with physically exhausted, sleep-deprived mom. Fun fun.
And then they stayed home from school. Because although our area was spared the floods that hit farther north, so many trees are down, so many homes and businesses are without power, that school's been canceled for two days now. Likely with more to come.
After the chaos of a vacation that bumped headlong into the back-to-school weekend frenzy of shopping and haircuts and more shopping, school should have been a break. It should have gotten us back to the routine. And we love that routine. I love it. My kids love it. My aspie especially loves it. Even my new au pair loves it.
So far, no routine. Only natural disasters. And a $140 calculator.