Older Daughter started middle school this morning. It's hard to believe that it's come so fast. Of course, as a friend pointed out, it makes a difference that she's young for her grade and that middle school around here starts in sixth grade, instead of the seventh/eighth grade junior high of my youth, but still. She was excited and nervous this morning, with nerves starting to predominate as we drove over there, especially when we hit the drop-off traffic that we haven't been facing on our summertime visits. She kept asking why I couldn't drive to the right of all the cars to go around them, and I had to explain why it's illegal to drive on the shoulder. Heh.
Of course, the day involved all the usual first-day-of-school mishaps. I'd gotten her safely dropped off and was on my way to get a cup of coffee before Younger Daughter's soccer camp started when I got a call from Rick saying that Older Daughter had forgotten her lunch, and Younger Daughter had forgotten her sunscreen. Luckily, there was plenty of time before camp started to meet up with him and get those things. I spent the two hours of Younger Daughter's camp working on Lacewing (a treat to myself this morning, and one I think I richly deserved) before gathering her up and feeding her lunch in time to get back to Older Daughter's school at the beginning of her lunchtime to deliver her lunch (this is not, I repeat not, going to be a habit, but I figure the first day of middle school deserves a bit of consideration). I will be going back there in an hour or so to deliver her violin, as she didn't have a place to put it yet since orchestra is meeting for the first time today, and then I will be going back to get her. Younger Daughter also has soccer tonight.
This morning, when the girls got into the car, one of them said to the other (and I would swear that they did not even begin to grasp the irony of this): "Let's pretend this is a taxi cab!"
"Pretend, my left buttock," I politely failed to say out loud. I may have cackled a little maniacally, though.
Still and yet, it was a pretty big thing to watch Older Daughter, lugging a backpack that seemed very big, trundling across her new campus to her classroom first thing this morning. She looked older, which I'm sure was my imagination, and which may have had something to do with the new middle-school clothes (I'm so used to a uniform): khakis, converse, and those layers and layers of tops that kids seem to find so nifty these days. Who knew that she knew what to wear? Who knew that she could look so confident, even when I know she was just dying of nerves inside? It's a pretty amazing thing to watch one's child walk away from one, into the next adventure, looking collected and easy while doing it. I'm glad that this is still a relatively small adventure, not yet involving things like dormitories and moves away. That will come soon enough, and for now I'm enjoying the feeling of seeing more of who and what she is as she faces this challenge.
Meanwhile, middle school prep and the Olympics, and days at the beach (did I mention we spent all day Sunday lazing at the beach? why don't we do that more often?) notwithstanding, I have been knitting. I finished this:
and am about halfway down the leg of the second sock. It was awkward getting a picture of this one myself, as it really deserves a front shot, but I got a few angles.
These Kimono Socks (this summer's Knitscene) have been an excellent Olympics-watching project, as it's impossible for me to knit Lacewing while watching a close finish, and there have been plenty of those in this year's Games. However, work has continued on the shawl, which has now morphed into The Blob That Ate Manhattan, as you can see.
In that picture, it's eating my knitting bag for dessert. I'm about halfway through with the last body repeat, so I'm hoping to move on to the insect band (which I adore) by the end of the week sometime; after that, it's just the edging, and edging is fun stuff.
I feel like I'm getting to what I think of as the downhill side of this piece. Right about this point in a knit, when I am finishing parts, I feel like I'm sliding towards the end, faster and faster; it's a fun feeling, and very motivational. Clearly, this silly and deceptive sense of speed is purely psychological, given that this shawl is getting bigger with every row, and rows are now taking closer to half and hour each, rather than fifteen minutes, but I'm glad of it. Listening to Pillars of the Earth doesn't hurt, either.
The rest of this week will be devoted to finishing up my syllabi, which are starting to come together, and to figuring out some kind of routine with all of the kids' activities before Younger Daughter and I both start back to school. I'm sure I'll find some time to knit in there somewhere...