Thursday, May 27, 2010

First Grade Author Day

Just back from the First Grade Authors Party at Our Fine School. The desks were arranged in a square, and each author sat behind a display of his/her work from this past year. First grade authors seem especially fond of writing about Halloween, difficult younger siblings, and what their dads do on Saturdays. Abby's dad watches sports in his boxer shorts, in case you were wondering.

Will wrote primarily about our dog, Travis, and sports. He did not reveal any family secrets. He did reveal that he can't spell for beans. Neither of my children have really taken to spelling. They do fine on spelling tests, because they're good memorizers, but spelling in the wild? Forget it.

It is exhausting work, praising young authors. I--and all the other parents--went from desk to desk, reading such tomes as "The Day I Lost My Tooth and My Brother Flushed It Down the Toilet," and "What My Dad Does After Lunch," and asking thoughtful, serious questions. "Now, where did you come up with the idea to have the dog in your story eat ten socks?" "Because that's what happened. See on the next page how he's throwing up?" "Wow, that's an amazing drawing!" "Yeah, I draw throw-up really good."

Some of the kids were very eager to discuss their work. For others, you could tell this process was nothing short of painful. Frankly, thirty minutes of nonstop praise is probably too much for even the most narcissistic among us.

I will miss Will's first grade class. The kids really like each other, and the parents really like each other--there's a real sense of community when you go into the classroom. It's the first year I didn't spend every classroom function in the corner, trying to look incredibly interested in the poster about proper bathroom procedures (Wash your hands!).


Today is the last full day of school. After this, it's half days. Which is to say, I'm done making lunches until late August! Why is having to make school lunches the most oppressive chore known to womankind? Every mom I know feels this way. I always make the boys' lunches the night before, because I like things streamlined in the morning, and every night it's like this weight hanging over me: Oh, yeah, I've got to make lunch. Sigh.

Maybe it's because I never remember that I'm going to have to make lunch. It's a surprise to me almost every day. I've cooked and cleaned and written and walked the dog and folded the laundry, and I'm about ready to sit down and knit or work on a quilt or read, and then it hits me: I still have to make lunch.

But not for the next eleven weeks, I don't. Holiday! Hurray! I'm free!


GretchenJoanna said...

You've reminded me that not making school lunches was one thing I really appreciated about homeschooling.

Tracy said...

"spelling in the wild"...I love it. So true,too, for those who don't spell well.

Would you believe, just this morning I was privately lamenting the making of yet another day's worth of school lunches. I don't get it. I go away on camp for two days...the girls get up on their own, make their lunch, make their Dad's lunch and get themselves organised.

They don't do it when I'm home!

Danielle said...

Now I am making lunch for hubby most mornings and when I have to do all 3, I want to pull out my hair. I'm whiny. You better not ask me the location of the hairbrush or your folder or shoes. But I can't make myself do it at night. It's just too much after homework.

When I only have to pack one lunch, like today, I feel the thrill of a lighter burden. I linger over my cups of coffee, and I read some of the paper. It's glorious. Bring on the packed lunch-free days! Then again, you still have to make lunch over summer break. At least it's in the middle of the day as it should be.

Susan said...

When one must for logistical reasons pack lunches the night before, it drags on the soul unlike almost any other chore. It's as if tomorrow's to-do list is creeping into what's left of today. It's that poke in the side reminding a gal that a mother's work is never completed, and that no matter how much one gets done today, tomorrow will be filled with a seemingly endless to-do list of it's own.

Gumbo Lily said...

I loved reading about the childrens' writing...especially about the dad who watches sports in his boxers. It brings everything into focus.

After trying to teach five children how to spell, I have come to the conclusion that spellers are born, not made. Spelling in the wild -- well said! How did we ever learn to spell? Is it 47 years of experience?

I call myself The Lunch Lady because I always made lunch for all of us....but at home. Hot lunch mostly!