All Striked Out

Exactly one week ago I was working on a blog post entitled Summer’s End.  Doesn’t that sound dreamy?  It was all about the encroaching melancholy I was feeling as we geared up for the start of school.  Sending your baby off to Kindergarten is a pretty big deal.  It marks the end of an era.  And being as we sent our oldest to Kindergarten just last year, we’re hitting these milestones awfully close together.

It was a great post. It was full of metaphors about falling leaves and the shedding of beautiful things.  I waxed poetic about letting go of the final vestiges of these early years as we’ve said goodbye this Summer to so many much-enjoyed but now seldom used things.   We bid farewell to our little sandbox and the sound machine that has been the soundtrack of our nights for so long that Jason and I brought it into our own room when the boys announced they were done with it; velcro shoes, board books, matchbox cars and so much more.

On the one hand, the tossing of a few once-cherished toys into the Goodwill bag seems paltry, but on the other it represents a painful pulling away that begins the moment you give birth and continues relentlessly as your kids grow.  Gryffin and Isaiah were woven together in a dark and mysterious place inside my body yet from the moment I pushed them out and away from me, they have been ceaseless in their march outwards and onwards.  It hurts.  It hurts and there are times I want to clench my fists around their old bath toys and Tonka trucks in a futile effort to staunch the inevitable pain the comes from bearing witness as they shed their old but beloved-by-us ways of counting or jogging or singing.


I didn’t manage to finish that post.  We were too awash in picking our first-day-of-school outfits, scheduling haircuts and working on our blossoming shoe-tying skills.   I’ll finish it Wednesday, I told myself.  Once the boys are settled in school, I’ll have plenty of time for that and all the other writing projects I’ve had on hold for the past 3 months SEVEN YEARS.  No problem.  It’s nearly here.  It can wait.

A teacher grabs a sign before walking the picket line as teachers strike outside Roosevelt High School in Seattle, Washington September 9, 2015. REUTERS/Matt Mills McKnight

Backpacks and lunch boxes were at the ready Tuesday night but Seattle’s first teacher’s strike in 30 years meant that we spent the day eating donuts and riding bikes along the waterfront instead of starting Kindergarten & First Grade.  I was still optimistic though.  What an unexpected joy!?  One extra day with my sweet fellas!  Surely we’ll start tomorrow.  I mean, really.  How long could this go?


Cue the crazy laugh cause here we are, a week later and apparently no closer to starting school than we were in July.  We’ve been to the beach (twice).  We’ve had the donuts (twice).  We even went to the toy store on Saturday in a desperate moment where I bought a perling set for some extra entertainment, which actually worked, by the way (who knew?).  But then I tripped over the container of perling beads this morning and spilled all 11,000 of them.  I’m not kidding.  I had gone in for the big jug.  There were literally ELEVEN THOUSAND of them on the floor in our living room.

I’m all for the union and the teachers, fixing the achievement gap, lowering caseload caps, getting a fair wage and all that, but it’s getting ugly up in here, folks.  If you need a cure for the “Oh my gosh, my babies are getting so big, I can’t even handle it,” I’m thinking a city-wide teacher strike should clear that up in a jiffy.  Cause you know what?  I suddenly could not care less about Gryffin’s adorable corduroy suit that he wore to the fake wedding or Isaiah’s old froggy pajamas.  Forget about their first set of blocks and the little doctor kit.  I’m over the miniature binoculars and the wooden train set and Moo, Baa, La La La.

I’d gladly toss them all into the street at this point if it means I can drop my kids off at school when I’m done.

This is what it’s come to… We couldn’t even manage to get all the way dressed today. And what’s up with the Tunisian flag, you ask? I don’t know and ceased to care about 4 days ago.