September is always insane in our house thanks to back-to-school, the start of Seahawks season, and my own work schedule ramping up in a big way. But once October hits, our family life tends to find a rhythm. I woke up to a foggy and rainy October 1st morning today, ready to embrace autumn and the steady but predictable beat of our days. This despite my 6:45am Saturday morning wakeup call for Asher's 8am ultimate frisbee game. Why????….
Overall, we've had a good start to our school year. This has been a winning stretch for our little family. I feel like we are all thriving in our individual ways. Here are ten quick hits from our last month:
1. Noé has the most awesome teacher and staff in his classroom this year. And there is so much good happening in there every day. I am so pleased. I feel like a drooling fangirl every time I go to his school to speak with his teacher. I have almost forgotten the nine-month long migraine that was his 6th grade year.
2. Thanks to his awesome school setup, and a later school start time, Noé loves going to school this year. He has been getting up before Asher in the mornings and has been eating a good breakfast every morning. These are both alternate-universe phenomenons in Casa Guzman.
3. Asher's K-8 school is living up to its hippy hype. As he enters his classroom each morning, he has to tell his teacher "Namaste" and touch palms with her. They plot their mood on a grid. There is a lot of journaling. But, his rag-tag class of ten 6th graders have all become great friends and it is a very diverse and supportive learning environment. I try to hold my tongue.
4. I received an email from Asher's math teacher the first week of school introducing himself. He mentioned that he is calling him "Buzz", per his request. I am completely baffled. Asher has never been called Buzz by anyone. He just isn't a "Buzz." My mind starts wandering and wondering if he is trying to create a new identity at a new school with a new group of people? Do I know the real Asher, I mean Buzz???
A couple hours later, his teacher emails back with a whoops….wrong kid….explanation. We call him "Buzz" around the house now!
5. All transportation departments of large school systems have their issues, especially at the beginning of the school year. But Asher told me a funny/crazy story about the bus that many of his friends ride to school. The driver had just moved to Seattle the night before and drove her first route that morning. She got completely lost and the bus ended up at Seattle Center next to the Space Needle, which is a good four miles or so (and a LOT of Seattle traffic) away from his school. The kids were telling her she was going the wrong way but she kept insisting she knew what she was doing. Some of the kindergartners were crying. Finally, a school vehicle (the bus police?) arrived and the bus had to follow it to the school. They were two hours late when they finally arrived at the school.
6. Noé got off the bus at school one morning before his teacher could meet him. A massive manhunt around the middle school grounds ensued. Noé was found in his classroom, sitting at his desk, looking at a book. I suggested that maybe it was time for him to go independently to class each morning.
7. I decided NOT to hire another instructor to help me with my side STEM business, so I am teaching five LEGO robotics classes this fall. Trying to remember five classes worth of kids names when I only see them for an hour each week is the worst kind of Memory game ever. Those little buggers get really pissy when you call them by the wrong name.
8. Our friendly neighborhood heroin addict jumped out of the bushes as Asher and I were walking to his bus stop one morning. He started yelling incoherently and lunging towards us. Luckily traffic in both directions saw what was happening and stopped so we could cross the street immediately.
9. Ed's press pass for the Seahawks has 'No Autographs' written in bold letters on the front. There is an ongoing debate in our house about who is not supposed to give autographs…. Ed or the Seahawks.
10. Ed inherited the Seattle pro sports teams this fall with several of them on the verge of the playoffs (namely the Sounders, the Storm and the Mariners). We say a lot of prayers in our house that sound something like…."Please let the Mariners lose tonight so they'll be further away from playoff contention so Papi can spend next Saturday with us." We basically want them all to lose, except the Seahawks, because they make the paper a lot of money.
Update: The Mariners lost last night and are safely out of playoff contention! We obviously have some sway with God.
My kids are proving something to me that I've failed to believe myself. The middle school years don't have to be awful. In fact, they can be pretty awesome. I am taking their lead on this as I watch them learn and grow and change faster than ever.