Back in December, I procured three pairs of eclipse glasses online, in preparation for the (partial) solar eclipse that happened this past Monday.
It just so happened that the day of the eclipse was also my son’s last day of Pre-K. I sent one pair to school with him, in the hopes that his teacher would be willing to let him look at the eclipse during or after naptime; I brought one pair with me to work; and I left one pair at home for my husband.
Around 2pm, I headed outside.
I texted my husband at home, who also donned his eclipse glasses.
As it turned out, my son also got to check out the eclipse at Pre-K. Not only that, but he insisted on sharing his glasses with his classmates and teachers, so everyone got to enjoy the eclipse!
Alas, I didn’t have my photography equipment with me (and I didn’t have a proper filter for eclipse photography, anyway), and putting the eclipse glasses in front of my iPhone camera just didn’t cut it. But! One of the videos I took of my view of the eclipse had a bonus eclipse-shaped lens flare at the end.
Even though I wasn’t in the path of totality, that was still WAY cool to see.
Come April 2024, for the next solar eclipse in America, my city will be in the path of totality — and my son will be finishing up sixth grade, if I’ve done my math right. Unless I make plans to pick him up from school, or his Junior High has an after-school eclipse-viewing party, chances are that he’d be on the bus on the way home during totality. One way or another, though, he’ll see it… and I’ll send him to school with the same eclipse glasses he took to his Pre-K class so many years before.
The countdowns are over. At Pre-K, Connor’s had his last Treasure Day, his last Swim Day, his last Show and Tell, his last Bike Day, and his very last day of Pre-K. (Since he only goes to Pre-K four days a week, he’s had his last Daddy Day at home, too.) We’ve given the teachers their thank-you cards and gifts, I’ve turned in my keycard, and we’ve driven out of the parking lot for the last time.
At his new elementary school, we’ve attended Kickoff Day, Open House, and our Kindergarten Conference. He has his bus schedule, his lanyard (for that first nervous week of finding his classroom before school and finding his bus after school), and his three-ring binder that he’ll bring home every night. The vague feeling of an impending sea change has given way to the age-old newness and excitement of the first day of school.
I can completely understand how parents of kids who haven’t attended preschool (or even daycare) can turn into a blubbering mess when sending their child off on the school bus to new, solo adventures. Connor’s been spending time away from home for at least a few days a week ever since he was a toddler — he’s been attending the same daycare/preschool for over four years. That’s allowed us a slow transition from getting daily updates on paper about all the minutiae (and I mean all, including the contents of his diapers) to getting a general whiteboard update about what the class did that day. I’d still drop him off and pick him up in person every day, though, and talk to his teacher face to face at least once.
Technology has made it so that we’ll get a peek into the classroom via our iPhones, but that represents yet another transition for all of us. It’s all about our son becoming his own independent person — and, honestly, when I think about it, there are lots of things that I did or said or that happened to me at school over the years that my Mom never knew about.
It’s just fascinating to be on the other side of these memories.
No long shots of well-manicured gardens this month; I’ve been slacking on weeding and maintenance, as often happens at the end of summer. So, without additional comment, here is what’s blooming in my Zone 6 garden this month.
I want to be excited and happy and full of anticipation as my son embarks on his new kindergarten adventure next week. I want to infuse his upcoming birthday party with joy and cupcakes. Instead, I’m ambivalent. Tired. Going through the motions. My gardens are full of weeds and grasses, my to-do list keeps growing, and I can find zero fucks to give.
Perversely, my fatigue and apathy drive me to stay awake later, and eat poorly, which results in a poor night’s sleep, which deepens the fatigue, which helps keep the cycle going. This has been the pattern for a few days now — last night, I didn’t turn the lights out until after 11:30pm, which is well past my bedtime. I just didn’t care.
I’m recognizing it. It’s like I’m seeing myself from outside myself, willing myself to bust out, cheering myself on. This evening, while my son was bathing, I busted out some crunches and push-ups in an effort to get myself in a better headspace (and out of my smartphone). It kind of worked. It did something.
My plan for tonight (having already gorged on carbohydrates of various kinds) is to finish writing this, wait for Connor to ask for a foot massage and to talk, take care of some nightly clean-up in the kitchen, maybe take a swag at my to-do list, then go into the sunroom (where I haven’t relaxed for weeks) and chill with a magazine. Then, I’ll head upstairs around dusk and spend some quality time cleansing my face and whatnot, to continue the relaxation theme. If I’m not too tired, maybe I’ll do ten minutes of yoga before tucking into my graphic novel cookbook for a bit, then turning out the lights just after ten. That should leave me rejuvenated for a conference with Connor’s kindergarten teacher in the morning.
I have a plan. This is a step in the right direction. Executing that plan will be the next step.
Yes, I have to consciously work toward treating myself right. Lizard Brain doesn’t know shit about treating me right, and if I don’t plan ahead, that’s who ends up driving the bus.