Homework Grades

The rigamarole began for me this week. I put on the non-T-shirt and the non-shorts and went to work. I felt so much better about my syllabi this year. You best believe we professor types fret over the syllabizzle. I mostly stare at the wide gaping space between FALL BREAK and THANKSGIVING and wonder HOW WILL WE FILL THE TIME? and then I get over myself and figure, aw, let's read a book or something. Sound good? I know you want to take this class now, pahah! School. It's always hard to get back into the rhythm of being away from my kids for long stretches at a time. I feel like I need to be scrambling to finish things so I can rush back to be with them, but then I remember that my daughter is at school and my son is napping per usual and I go back to staring at my syllabi HOW AGAIN WILL WE FILL THE TIME???

A privilege of being a parent who works outside the home is having the "novelty hours" where you are the hot commodity. You are not the one whose presence your kids take for granted. No, in fact, you are the Biebs! Live! In Concert! Right in your own living room. Then they get over you and have a meltdown about having to eat the crust of their grilled cheese. Whatever. It is still good to be the rock star for 35 seconds a day.

I really enjoyed picking Baby Girl up from school today. She showed me the fish tank and the case with the tarantula (I know, I still enjoyed pick-up today!) and held my hand as we walked out to the car. As I was buckling her into her car seat, she said something curious. She said, "Mom, I don't have to be sad that Hadley is in another grade now. Because when people get into the homework grades, they're still the same person."

I mean, first of all, "homework grades"? Is that not slightly adorable? And the fact that she feared people becoming different people THE KIND OF PEOPLE WHO DO HOMEWORK reveals a little bit of that innocent heart that I know we all once had.

I am not so far corrupted that I don't understand what it is to fear the "upper grades." I can still identify with the fear of not being equipped for writing cursive and wondering how those Big Kids taught themselves to read silently INSIDE THEIR HEADS without having to point at words and sound them out. I remember so clearly wondering whether when my baby sister got older, if she would know all of us. I didn't understand gradual progression. I could only focus on the great leaps that I believed necessary for reaching certain precipices in life. Oh those fearful homework grades.

I didn't quite have the perfect assurance for Baby Girl but she seemed to have come to the conclusion on her own that people who moved up to homework grades were still approachable and not totally elite and 8' tall.

From the looks of things, e.g. from the picture texts her wonderful teacher sends me, she is going to be okay.

Appendix A

Readers r leaders