Tuesday, September 06, 2005

Back to School, Back to Reality

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Umm...does this image caption refer to stress on the kids or on their parents?

'Cause I think I might already need to take a long, hot bubble bath in the Jacuzzi, and sign up for a 90-minute session with a masseuse...

And it's only the first day of school -- for two of my three kids.

Tomorrow, child # 3 starts senior kindergarten, school for the first time. Until now, he was with a home day care provider. This provider babysitter has been the surrogate mother for my children since my eldest ( now 10 years old) was 6 months old; he stuck around with her till he was three; my daughter stayed till she was five, and my youngest is also leaving at age five.
In essence, this wonderful woman has raised my children on a daily basis from infancy through early childhood. Every day with her was "back to school."

Giddiness fills the air, carpool traffic fills the neighborhood streets and school parking lots on the first day of school. Forms and notes fill the children's knapsacks on the first day of school. Appointment notices and schedules fill my bulletin board on the first day of school.

The cycle repeats each year...and I recall my own first days as a student. Tradition held that my mother would take a photo on the first day of school, capturing me dressed in a new article of clothing or wearing new shoes and toting a new schoolbag. That tradition has carried over into my married life, and we ushered the children out early this a.m. to have them stand in our front yard and capture their faces on camera, in their first-day jitters and twitters.

These kids of mine now write in a daily school agenda, listing assignments, tests, homework, memos. I think I ought to get one of those agendas for myself...to help manage -- and minimize -- that back to school stress. Or maybe I should go back to school myself, take a stress-management course, and maybe by next year, having had a wonderful practical placement in my own home, who knows....? Maybe I'll get to teach the class.

Hope all of you who attend school, or those of you who send off others to school, had a good first day back. Break out those books; you've got some studying to do!

Tickle My Tichel

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I just found this bit in the NY Times online section. It certainly tickled my invisible tichel -- and funny bone.

Correction: August 27, 2005, Saturday An article on Aug. 19 about a peddler at the bungalow colonies in the Catskills where many Orthodox Jews spend summers misstated the length of Tishah b'Ab, the observance of mourning for the destruction of the First and Second Temples of Jerusalem, when the faithful wear plastic sandals to abstain from leather. It is a single day -- the ninth of the month of Ab -- not nine days. The article also misspelled the term for a head covering sold to some Orthodox women. It is a tichel, not a tickle.