School Blues


This isn't a reference to feeling sad about the start of the school year, or sad about the drizzle (even though I know you people in Seattle are having the Summer That Will Never End), or sad about the awkwardness of being new to town AND school as I walk past groups of chatting parents. School Blues is in reference to the color every school-aged child in St Albans is sporting, unless you go to an expensive private school, in which case it's assumed you can afford the custom-made, forest-green tailored jacket and striped tie. As the kids fan out to their respective primary schools on scooters and by foot, running to catch up with a parent who is hurriedly pushing the younger sibling in a stroller, you just see a lot of blue.  It's great, really, the way all the schools have adopted 4 basic colors; blue, black, white and grey, though everyone almost universally wears blue on top.  This makes shopping for school clothes as easy as going to the grocery. Actually, I'm not kidding. I bought several multi-packs of light blue polo shirts and grey and black pants at my local Sainsbury's, the UK equivalent of Safeway. You have the option of buying slightly higher priced items through the school with their logo on the front but you're not required to. So basically the kids look pretty much the same; a little rumpled but you can't tell whose parents make a million and whose are in subsidized housing.

In England they start the kids in "Reception" the year they turn 5, not after they've already turned 5. I'm ambivalent about this as it means our glamorous, gallavanting lives now revolve around the school calendar and I'll have to bake cakes and buy shit to support my school. But it's nice to be past the expense of preschool care and to have a bit of my own time again. And there IS that whole bit about finding my community and making connections which I have to admit will best happen through school.

I'm sorry it's been so long since I posted but, incredibly, I'm still unpacking.  There's nothing quite as demoralizing to the creative process than being stared down each morning by unemptied boxes and random clutter. It wouldn't be nearly so time consuming were it not for the fact that we have very little space to put anything and when a moving van discharges a 40 foot contaner's worth of household items into a tiny townhome, you find yourself organizing simply by moving piles from here to there and slowly, so very slowly, finding a home for each item.  And despite feeling as though I had pared down our possessions to the bare minimum, I've managed to fill at least 8 large boxes of unneeded items and taken them to the local thrift store.

I've resorted to coming to Starbucks to plug into WiFi and write where I don't have to move things over in order to access the keyboard.  I'm going to give a go to my first iPhone movie which documents the first day of school. And, oh yeah, Z seems to like school well enough most days, though yesterday he told me he wanted to have school at home with me being the teacher. He also says, on occasion, he doesn't like school because they tell him what to do. Sorry, little dude, but that's called teaching.