And there goes summer.
Suddenly, schedules have changed, cranky, sleep-deprived kids have to be manhandled, assignments and paperwork have to be dealt with, morning traffic gets even crappier.
It's school time!!
The bulk of HISD begins classes this morning. As always, it takes some adjustment for both those with and without kids in the system.
Among the things to look out for are these five:
5. Everyone will have forgotten how to drive to school Whether it's the prospect of a new campus, or just the fact that the mind has thankfully blanked out all memories of those early morning "You did bring your homework we worked on all night, didn't you!?!?" commutes, it seems like everyone forgets how to get to school for a week or two.
The usual places that back up with traffic get worse, ones that you (relatively) breeze through in the summer become trouble spots -- it all adds up to one fun morning after another until people get their act together, sometime around October.
The only bright spot is if you're enduring this as a working commuter and not a student parent, because at least then you won't also be putting up with Radio Disney or some other canned crap.
4. Get ready to sign your autograph to dozens on items never to be seen again Basically, for the next few days parents will be signing any single piece of paper thrown in front of them. Immunization forms, citizenship forms, lunch preferences, whatever.
Kids -- this is a great opportunity to slip in any disciplinary "Your son is going on probation NOW" items that need to be signed. Wait until bedtime, then stick it in a pile of small-print documents that Mom or Dad need to sign NOW, and they'll never read a word.
3. Don't read Facebook or Twitter if you have friends going through the first day of "big kid school" We've warned about this before: Level 3 Emoticon Overloads as parents inform the world that, in a circumstance totally unique among human experience, their kid will be going off to regular school for the first time.
The kid will probably be sporting an ironic lunchbox/backpack picked out for its cool potential among other parents, as opposed to something the kid would actually like, but that's life and the youngster ought to get used to it if he or she belongs to the type of parent who has to broadcast everything on social media. We're sure you won't be embarrassed about it all when you get older, kid.
2. Likewise, little dude, please don't be scared by a news photographer They're out there, lurking. Lying low, hiding in the natural habitat, waiting for the exact moment to pounce and get the Perfect Shot.
"They" are the folks working the news cameras, and they want nothing more on their guided "first day of school" media tours than to get a money shot of a slightly overwhelmed kid, preferably on the edge of tears, contemplating being left behind by Mommy and stuck in this noisy, strange and unfamiliar environment.
For them, it's a front-page placement and a "job well done," for you it's endless teasing about being a mama's boy.
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SHOW ME HOW
1. What the hell -- have fun. Yeah, it sucks that summer's gone. But if you're about to be a senior or an eighth-grader, you get to be the big person on campus. Rock it. If you're coming in as a freshman or other lowlife, learn the ropes.
You can't avoid this stuff, so you might as well enjoy the ride. We wish the same would go for enjoying the ensuing traffic.