The school year started off in spurts with 2 kids beginning class on Monday and 1 kid getting a bonus day before diving into a new routine. Before leaving the States, we bought backpacks and lunchboxes for the younger kids to slide right into cool school style here in Europe. First correction made: 6th grade boys don’t really take lunch boxes to school anymore. They use brown paper sacks. Second correction: Although I attempted to make sure they had “proper” school supplies, we were shocked that DODS (department of defense schools) in Europe doesn’t make families provide classroom supplies. So, the numerous 3 ring binders, looseleaf paper and Crayola water colors are tucked into a bedroom upstairs waiting for art projects on rainy days at home.
The kids leave the house at 7:10am and head for the bus stop, a short 1 block walk from the front door. The bus that picked them up on the first day was a ratty affair…seats were torn and windows had been etched by disgruntled kids from years gone by. But, they load the same they have for eons: little kids get on first and sit in front (by the driver=SAFETY from big kids) and then middle schoolers get on and try to score a seat as close to the back without infecting the high schools and finally…the scary high school kids get on…ear buds conveniently tucked into their ears to block out the noise of bothersome little kids who want to high five each one as they walk down the aisle.
I greeted the kids with rice krispie treats following the second day of school. I thought i’d pretty much outdone myself and told them, “Hey! I made you a surprise!” And Will looks at me and says with a roll of his eyes, “I’ll bet it’s rice krispie treats.” I guess I’m as predictable as starting school in Fall.