Hard at work in the pumpkin patch.
I sat my daughter down with a variant on what Michael Moorcock said to Harlan Ellison, the first time Harlan was introduced to it: ¨Just watch it. No preconceptions. Don’t worry about the wobbly …
warrenellis on the family ritual of watching Doctor Who.
(I’ve always considered the excellence of his introspective personal works definitive proof that Ellis is a first-class writer, beyond any diminution of genre or medium. I’ve subscribed to his newsletters since they were written on wax tablets and delivered by enslaved Picts, so I know whereof I speak.)
Next week, the girls start school. On top of them both moving to a new school, the six year old will be in 1st Grade, our young family’s first encounter with an actual numbered grade. There is a strange dual sense of routine and tragedy to all of this, the end of summer’s anarchy.
Summer has sped past, and to be on the verge of that rigid school schedule is both comforting and jarring. Bed times will become regular and earlier. Traffic will become worse. There will be homework. Will I miss the free-for-all, the movie nights, the sticky-handed, barefoot little girls running riot? Yes, of course. My preferred state of being is child-centric chaos.
But I have reconciled myself to the loss. The girls absorb so much from school in addition to education, and they love their little friends. (The new school makes little difference here. At four and six, all other children are your friends.) In a way, it will be a comfort to return to a system, a sort of order. Life is full of disruptions, but at least the kids are in school.
There is tragedy, too, as is always the case with the passage of time. At which moment did we stop having at least one baby around? Was there a time when the six year old didn’t read every available word? Little unsettling questions, little gaps in the assurance that I’m keeping a handle on everything, that I am savoring the girls’ passage through childhood, that their growing up will not catch me by surprise.
I am not missing their slow transformations, even as I am. What children are cannot be bottled and preserved, much as we might want to keep them frozen at any particular phase.
So, 1st grade it is.