Today is a big day for the Daring Adventure family.
Almost all of us started school today. Two of us started school for the First. Time. Ever.
But before I get into the details, let me back up and catch everyone up, since I haven't been able to blog for a while.
Last month, we sold our house in Texas (our first assignment with State). We had a few weeks in between selling our house in Texas and today (James' first day of Chinese language training at FSI in preparation for our next assignment - to Chengdu, China. And no, as you can see, I'm not in class with him). We spent a lot of time without internet/ on a househunting trip (you get one of those when you PCS domestically from one post to another)/ moving, etc. Last week, we moved to the Falls Church area (no, we're not at an Oakwood, since we've PCSed and are not TDY during training)... and this last week has been hell on earth. Most of last week I didn't have internet. The rest of last week I didn't have time to use it.
Oh my gosh, you guys - I don't even know where to begin.
Long story short... both of our boys just started school this morning. As in: PUBLIC SCHOOL. As in: all they've ever been their whole lives are homeschooled boys, and as of this morning, that ended.
Matthew's school started first. It doesn't make any blessed sense to me that the teenagers who need to sleep in as late as they possibly can have to start school the earliest (I know, I know, bus times and darkness, etc.), but Matthew had to be up at O'Dark Thirty in order to get ready for his first day of school.
Don't get me started on any of the specifics of his schedule, his classes, etc. I've spent most of last week - I kid you not - moving, shopping, dealing with schools/paperwork, and SOBBING. If I'm not online, folks, that's a clue.
He woke up this morning, got dressed, and checked his schedule. Different classes AT DIFFERENT SCHOOLS on different days at different times. Mayhem. Lunacy.
(Let me just take a moment to discuss why my children are going to school. For the first time. Ever. It is because I was SUPPOSED to BE IN CHINESE WITH MY HUSBAND. Anyone remember this? Yeah, well, I'm NOT in CHINESE with my HUSBAND (which started this morning at FSI). I got thrown out of Chinese a few weeks ago, and I've been hoping against hope that there could be space for me to get back in. Even this morning, I've been hoping there would be space. You know - from last minute cancellations or enrollments. But right now, my husband's class has 32 students, and dammit - that number is perfectly divisible by four. Which means - no spots for me.)
(Now, to be fair, when they threw me out of my husband's Chinese class, they tried to put me in a much shorter Chinese class that is on a completely different schedule from James' class and which meets all the way into the evening. Needless to say, this will NOT work for our family. I was also informed that this much shorter class is also very high-stress, very high-homework, goes very fast, is very intense, and DOESN'T INCLUDE LEARNING ANY CHARACTERS/READING/WRITING. The class is speaking only. All that to say - that class just wasn't a fit for me at all.)
So, anyway, back to the children. Who started school this morning. So that I could go to Chinese class. Which I'm not in.
Matthew looked, if I do say so myself, insanely handsome. I kid you not - we have been shopping ALL. WEEK. for these boys. And, of course, we all know how very, very much boys like to shop for clothing.
You see, homeschooled boys in warm climates (Texas/Florida) literally only need a few pairs of mesh athletic shorts and a few tshirts and VOILA - that's their wardrobe. Matthew has literally never - and I'm not making this up - owned a pair of jeans. He's owned one button down shirt before and has only worn it to church or to special functions. Those who know us know that my children have always looked like homeless waiflike trash bags. But hey- dressing like that is comfortable!
Well, they are homeless-looking, waiflike trash bag-dressing-boys no longer. James and I spent the better part of last week (every spare moment we weren't, you know, MOVING) doing our part to stimulate the retail sector of the US economy. I can't even begin to DESCRIBE how much money we spent on clothes (and backpacks! school supplies! lunch boxes! etc!) for the boys. Because, of course, not only are they starting public school (where people notice/care about how you look), but they are also now living in a totally different climate.
Zachary and Matthew were both super- nervous this morning. Zachary more so, I think, than Matthew.
And can I just complain here a little bit? Because Matthew - the high schooler - gets out of school at 1:15, but Zachary, my BABY, doesn't get home from school until, like, 4:30.
WHAT. THE. HECK?? WHY does school have to take my baby away until that late in the day?!?!? What in the WORLD is so important that elementary school children have to be away from home that darned long?
We drive Matthew to and from school, but Zachary takes the bus. Which freaks me out to no end. But it has to be that way IN CASE I GET INTO CHINESE WITH MY HUSBAND. You know, THE CHINESE I'M NOT IN. Yes sirree, if I get into Chinese (which I'm not currently in - did I mention that?), then Zachary will have to take the bus because of the timing of it all.
So he took the bus today:
Because I just KNOW that my phone will ring ANY MOMENT with the news that I'm in Chinese.
Since we, you know, have CHANGED OUR WHOLE LIVES and have STOPPED HOMESCHOOLING and have PUT THE BOYS IN PUBLIC SCHOOL and have PUT THEM ON BUSES - all because I was going to be in Chinese. Which I'm not in.
So now, James is at FSI and Matthew and Zachary are at school and I'm trying not to absolutely lose it.
It could end up being a good thing, of course. The boys may end up liking school. And even though I will probably not ever end up in Chinese, it's sort of nice to know that if either of my boys don't like it - or get bullied - or whatever - they can immediately be homeschooled again. I mean - true story - my boys are probably the only boys in all of Fairfax County who are dually enrolled both as full time students AND as homeschoolers. Oh, you BETCHA I can pull either/ both of those boys out of school in the blink of an eye.
So, like I said, I just have to make it through today. And hopefully, sooner rather than later, we'll know if the boys like school... if I'll be in Chinese... if I'll be homeschooling them again instead, etc.
Oh, and one more thing - just for the fun of it.
We got our UAB shipment last week when we moved, and for us, UAB was short for "Urcrates All Busted." Well, okay, they didn't ALL bust open (technically - the bottoms and sides ripped open) during shipment, dumping our contents into what looks like dirt and mulch, requiring the movers to stuff our now-filthy-belongings back into the broken boxes... just two of them broke (out of four).
Clothing, etc., from our UAB that was delivered to us covered in filth.
So be careful with your UAB, folks. We even had one thing break. It was a small glass mixing bowl - not enough to get worked up over - but it was super annoying because they hadn't repaired the two crates (I don't know why we call them "crates" when they're just super big cardboard boxes) that broke, and so James and the one UAB mover guy had to haul our stuff into our apartment item by item.