Thursday, March 29, 2007

Random Thursday Thoughts

There's no sense in looking at my NCAA picks anymore. I'm in last place, 48th/49, well, except for the 49th person in the pool who didn't actually submit any picks. Thank you, sir, for that. I like this ranking better: 259,609 of 314,209 in all of FoxSports NCAA picks. Not as bad as I thought.

I am last in the NCAA picks and the Mets are in last place in the NL East in spring training. Now, anyone who knows Mets baseball, or any baseball, will tell you that March baseball is meaningless. It's spring and it's training. It's not April and it's certainly not October and, therefore, there's no need to worry. The grass is still brown. Worry when the grass is green. Don't worry now.

Even though we still don't have pitching. Even though we are losing what pitching we do have by the hour. Even though the remaining pitching is, well, old and subject to injury by virtue of their oldness.

Bah, I can't worry about that now. I had my son's middle school orientation tonight. Talk about oldness. Nothing makes you feel old like a middle school orientation. It was just for the parents and now I know why. Because the Principal tried to make us cry and he didn't want the kids to see it.

OK, maybe he didn't really want to make us cry. But some parents almost did. The biggest gasp came when he announced the school start time: 7:32AM. For the record, I am in bed until 7:41AM on school days now and can still wake the troops, feed them, pack lunchboxes and send them out the door for the 8:11AM bus. I am not confident this routine will work an hour earlier. For my son or me.

The second loudest gasp came when the Principal said the first of four lunch periods was at 9:45AM. Lunch at 9:45AM. Now, I like this new Principal. He's affable and down to earth and he talks fast like I do. But perhaps he doesn't understand what "lunch" is or where on the clock the lunch hour usually falls. Maybe he's still on the old daylight savings time, plus or minus an hour. Maybe it's like that "new math" that I don't understand. I won't worry too much that my baby will be starving by 1pm every day!!! My baby!!! Someone feed my poor baby!!! Ahem.

Third group gasp: they'll be home by 2:15. Ooops...I guess I should figure out that afternoon bus arrival thing before September, huh? Also, intramurals and after-school buses don't stop at your usual bus stop. Moms all over the room looked shocked.

The biggest, and perhaps only sigh of relief came when he said that the sixth graders have their own hall and don't oft intermingle with the (evil-mature) 8th graders. He did note that lunch was intermingled. What bad evil-mature events could occur at a 9:45AM lunch, am I right?

An astute parent noted the ridiculousness of one school counselor per 350 students. Perhaps they have a conveyor belt set up for this. "What's your problem? NEXT! What's your problem? NEXT!"

Parents left the cafetorium in a daze. More shocking than the early start time and myriad of middle school logistics, parents realized their babies are growing up.

They'll be no more cupcakes for classroom birthday parties. No more Mother's Day poems. No handmade Father's Day crafts. No special pizza parties before holidays. No Thanksgiving feasts. No paper superhero Valentines to buy and tape lollipops to. No more room moms.

His last Powerpoint slide said, "Parents: Don't disengage!"

Hey, let us bring cupcakes once in awhile and we'll stay engaged all you want.

I told a mom it was like weaning from breast feeding all over again. It aches to let them go.

I arrived home, armed with knowledge of a 6th-grader's life and a bit melancholy about the arrival of September. I arrived and there was my son, God bless him, sitting on the couch, watching cartoons, wearing a lion mask on the top of his head and eating potato chips from a red, plastic Clifford the Big Red Dog bowl. A little boy, still.

I shared with him all the info I gathered and he, too, breathed a sigh of relief when he found out that the evil-big 8th graders wouldn't be in his wing.

And then he hugged me.

Excuse me while I go staple the calendar shut to prevent the pages from turning.


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