Here are Stryker and the Matron, trudging the three long city blocks to the school bus at 6:42 am. The Matron is carrying her son's book bag and lunch so the he's the one sullying his hands with Satan's Familiar.
Friday, School Week Three of Murray Junior High. They are tired. But they are also a tight team by this point, mastering the art of the sequential morning. Tick-tock-tick, minute-by-minute so they can squeeze out every last eye sand of sleep. The mornings don't feel half bad.
Matron: "Who did you eat lunch with today?"
Stryker: "You ask that every day, Mom."
Matron: "A pattern that might continue. And?"
Stryker: "I ate with the kid that I talk to during Spanish."
Stryker: "You know, I never thought about this until now, but I walk to Algebra with the same kid. Then there's one who has a locker next to mine and gym class. I do work with like a whole bunch of people. So there's people I talk to now and do stuff with."
Matron: "That's great!"
Stryker (little pause): "Hey! I have friends at school now! Those are friends!"
Just as the Matron is busy restraining herself from falling to the ground and wailing "Hallelujah" he hits her with one more.
"Mom? Could I get a Murray t-shirt?"
Better. Us, that is. And thanks for all your blog love, sweet women (and you three).
Scarlett: "Mom, are we going to the Bama meeting?"
Matron: "Bama meeting? What's a Bama?"
Scarlett: "Mama! You know! The Barackobama meeting for President!"
Matron: "Oh, the Obama rally. Uh, I hadn't planned on it."
Scarlett: "No, not the Obama, the Bama."
Matron: "No, it's O bama."
Scarlett: "Are you sure? Because I'm pretty sure his name is Baracko Bama. How would we check that somewhere?"
Merrick has spent the entire summer in camouflage pants and a dirty white t-shirt, with the leashed Satan's Familiar in one hand and a toy rifle in the other. Other five-year olds went to day camp and frolicked out doors. Hers participated in a six day Simpsonathon.
Once, in the middle of the summer, Scarlett determined that she would teach Merrick to read.
Twenty minutes later, she walks up to her mother: "He's hopeless." Merrick screamed by, buck naked, pistol in hand, singing this: "Scruffy has a butt hole, dontcha know it. Butt hole!"
Now, Merrick's particular elementary school experience is in a preK/K mixed classroom. Last year, he went half day as a preK and this year, he's got that whole letter (please don't make the Matron google the spelling, she's that bad) -- and the same teacher.
After two weeks back in school, the Matron experienced (in a full body sort of way) this conversation with his teacher.
Teacher: "Mary, how did the summer go."
Matron: "Oh fine. Same old, you know, sun and fun and all."
Teacher: "Do you remember that little letter Merrick got at the end of last year?"
Matron: "The one about reading to your child?"
Teacher: "Yes! And there was more, so much more! Like asking your child what the day is, what month it is. Having your child count and order things."
Matron: "Uh, oh, yes. Hmmmm."
Merrick conveniently screeches to their side, hair too long and clothes, well, semi-disgusting, notices the Matron.
Matron: "Hey Merrick, do you know what month it is?"
Merrick: "Chwistmas month?"
The teacher just smiles and nods, all thanks for making my point for me.
Merrick: "Are we going to the Bama meeting? And if we do, can I bwing a toy gun?"
Thanks for the additional help, sweetie.