Jack got his class assignment yesterday for first grade at our local public school. It came in a packet with the September cafeteria menus, and the schedule for Home and School meetings. This is real. Jack will be in grade school. He will ride a bus and go through a cafeteria line. Are we ready for this? He asked me to drive him the first day of school, but then he wants to ride the bus. They have a "bus buddy" system if the first graders want it, but Jack told me he didn't. We're hoping to convince him to use one.
We suspect Jack is a little afraid of older kids at the moment. You see, a few days ago Jack awoke from a nightmare screaming "I don't want to go back to camp!" (He has been at a half day camp at my health club ever since we returned from Indiana, mainly so he has something to do while I take Will to his "sound therapy.") John asked why, and after a while Jack admitted that an older boy had said something to him while he was changing to go swimming. He couldn't or wouldn't tell us what. He had just asked me the day before if he could just wear his swim trunks all morning and not change. He was adamant, and wouldn't give me a reason, so I agreed that he could. Neither Jack nor Will are circumcised, and maybe the boy had commented on that. We'll probably never know. I talked to the counselor, and he's not allowed to be with the boys while they're changing, so he can't really supervise. I hadn't realized that Jack would be in such close quarters with older boys. At least it's only one more week, and Jack is fine as long as he keeps the swim trunks on. The counselor told me Jack could change in a stall, but he doesn't want to. I think because he doesn't want to attract attention to himself. We have told him, "You can tell us anything that is bothering you." But the only way we learned anything is through the nightmare. Thank you, subconsconscious.
On a lighter note, Jack has been asking John and me to make up tests for him, that we then are asked to grade, usually at highly inconvenient moments. We put addition problems and simple multiplication problems on the tests. He loves these things! He wants to talk about and play school a lot now. He no doubt has a little anxiety about going to grade school, because his behavior has not been stellar since we got back, yelling and not cooperating to a more annoying level than usual. He will go to a birthday party of a friend from Montessori soon, which will remind him that he's not going back . . .
These August days are long, full of gazing back and looking ahead. Like that week between Christmas and New Year's, we are neither here nor there, floating between the past and the future. The sun creeps slowly across the wide sky each day as time slows down. The town is almost deserted, with most folks at the shore, collecting their energy for the year ahead. We swim, play, and dream of the next chapter.