The second child really does get the short end of the stick, doesn’t he? (I hear Jessica yelling: Hell, yeah!)

I’ll have you know, part of the reason that I didn’t give Will nearly as much air time as Lucy re. first day things was because we were spending quite a bit of time in the doctor’s office with him, dealing with all sorts of fun (not) tests for various blood diseases, coughs, hives, etc. As of now, all appears to be as well as could be. The blood disease (yes, the bad blood diseases that start with “L”) appears to have been nothing but a virus that gave the doctor some weird readings. We still have to go back for a follow-up test, but no one appears to be worried. Well, no one who actually knows what they’re talking about — I, of course, am still quaking.

Just when that was coming closer to being a memory, he got some cold that was characterized by awful coughing. Although it never sounded croupy, it did bring to mind the night of the ambulance meeting us on the side of the road. Joy. And then when things were finally settling down again, he got hives. Now, for most people, this evokes an ‘eh’ reaction, shoulder shrug included. Since the last time someone mentioned ‘hives’ in the context of Will it was the doctor saying that if hives occur use the EpiPen immediately, however, it wasn’t so much of a shrug as a Oh-my-God-call-the-doctor-now! (Uh, yes, once again that was from me. Kelley did agree that a phone call was in order, but I don’t think that his heart was racing a million miles per minute.)

Again, as of the last report (Monday night’s visit to Robin, his asthma case manager), it seems as though the hives could just have been the end of the same virus that gave him the three days in a row of unexplained 103 degree fever, thus having us end up in the Hematology Lab at Children’s. Which, as crazy as it seems, is a good thing.

So you see? Will was very much in my mind for the last month. I just haven’t had a chance to write about his first day (o.k., month) of school. Which I will now do.

As you will see, he was eager to get there. He and Lucy had their matching uniforms, matching lunchboxes, and, surprisingly, matching smiles.

My lunchbox is bigger than yours.

My lunchbox is bigger than yours.

Lunchboxes, uniforms, smiles - check.

Lunchboxes, uniforms, smiles - check.

Sitting on the front step and laughing.

Sitting on the front step and laughing.

Everyone was in such a good mood, in fact, that we were able to get a whole series of pictures of them doing silly things. Now why, I ask you, is it impossible to get them to follow directions like, “Don’t hit each other in the head with books because you will end up in the hospital,” but when you say, “Stand on one foot and cluck like a chicken,” they go along without hesitation? Sigh.

...and cluck like a chicken.

...and cluck like a chicken.

...stand on one foot...

...stand on one foot...

Turn to the right...

Turn to the right...

Everyone went to the school together, with Lucy explaining to Will how the kindergartners would sit outside in front of the school and wait until the whole class was there, then they’d say goodbye to all the parents and go inside together as a class. (Sound familiar? Like the way Conn separates the freshmen from their parents during Orientation weekend?) Since Lucy wanted to get to before-school, we were the first ones there. Luckily, the teachers came out almost immediately, so Will got some one-on-one time (or, rather four-on-one, since there were the teachers of both classes plus their aides, and they were all sufficiently fawning over his adorableness). Then all the rest of the class came.

The K2 Class

The K2 Class

As these things go, no one really did much talking to each other. They all just kind of sat there. Surprisingly, there weren’t any tears — or, make that, none of the kids were crying at least. I know I wasn’t the only mom whose eyes were a bit dewey as our, sniff, babies went off to kindergarten. I wasn’t quite as bad as I was on Lucy’s first day of kindergarten, but yes, I was a little emotional.

When, after he came home, I asked him if he had made any new friends. His finger went up as he said, “One. Giancarlos asked me to be his friend.” Apparently, it’s kind of like going steady. A declaration actually has to be made. I wouldn’t be surprised if there were a pin involved. Happily, though, in talking to his teacher in the weeks since then, although they do appear to focus on one-on-one interactions, they appear to rotate quite easily and all the kids in the class have become (unofficially) friends. The boys, at least. Yesterday Will did inform me that Ashanti and, well, I don’t remember but one of the other girls, had asked him to chase them around the playground but he said no. Why? I asked. He looked at me as though I was an idiot. “Because that’s stupid.” Well, yes. Interesting to see that from the boy’s perspective.

I promise I will try and be a little more timely. If you’d like to see more pictures from Will’s first day of school, you can see it at: http://tinyurl.com/4ew874 (there are even more on Flickr). You might be seeing some more pictures from me because I’m trying to clear out the camera before Jaime and Dan’s wedding next week.

Today was Lucy’s first day of third grade. And, just because I have the technology, here’s a picture:

Lucy's first day of school

Lucy and Will on Lucy's first day of school

She was both excited and nervous. She truly does seem to love school, so I think that she was eager to get started, and yet she’s been quite concerned about how hard third grade is going to be. As she said in her tearful breakdown of last week: “They’re going to expect me to do harder math and write more and… and… Everything’s changing now and I don’t like it. Why can’t it be like it was when I was three? All we had to know how to do was play.”

O.k. So maybe that’s not verbatim, but it’s pretty close. You get the idea.

I am NOT related to those people behind me.

"I am NOT related to those people behind me."

She walked ahead of us all the way up the hill to the school. We saw Jiovan right away, and Matthew, two of my favorite kids in her grade. Then, as we walked past the hopscotch and sat down on the stone wall (with her, once again, keeping her distance), Ruth walked in through the gates. Oh, joy! Even better, Ruth had the same Hannah Montanna messenger bag as Lucy did, so they had something to talk about right off the bat. (Oddly enough, 8-year-olds don’t waste time on the adult standbys of ‘How was your summer?’ and ‘Went by so fast, didn’t it?’ They just get right to the awkward silence part. Much more efficient.) Although she rolled her eyes, Lucy did allow me to get a picture of the two of them (well, three, including Ruth’s baby brother.

Lucy, Ruth (and Ruth's brother), and the Hannah Montanna bags.

Lucy, Ruth (and Ruth's brother), and the Hannah Montanna bags

Then she spotted Francesca, and then Jiovan came over again. Somehow I managed to catch the four of them in the (literally) three seconds that Jiovan sat still. I think my threatening him with the pictures I had from their kindergarten days may have been what worked. A few more minutes later, Lucy saw her new teacher. She stood in awe for a few seconds, wondering, I think, if her teacher knew who she was. When it was clear that yes, her new teacher did know her, all was well.

The crowd began to swell a bit, and before we knew it, the gates were open and the kids were let loose onto the playground. And so we came upon one of those eternal parental dilemmas: should we stay or should we go? Lucy was definitely keeping her distance. She didn’t actually say, Mo-om (the two drawn out syllables that are difficult to spell, but that every parent knows intimately), but it was definitely implied. Although there were a bunch of others sticking around, we left.

The whole lot of 'em.

The whole lot of 'em

As soon as we started down the hill, I had second thoughts: what if she looks up and expected to see us, but we’re gone? Have I ruined her ability to trust all adults from here on in? Have I left her to the awful mean girls on the grounds of the school? Have I inadvertently sent a message to all the teachers that I’m not a supportive parent? What have I done?????

Reenacting the same walk from four years ago, when we left her for her first day of kindergarten, Kelley said, “Just keep walking. She’s fine. No, we didn’t leave her to evil things.” (O.k. So that’s not exactly verbatim, either, but well, you get that point, too.) Realizing that Will is silently taking all of this in, I just bite my lip, try not to cry, and move the heck on.

Life got a little frustrating from there.

We went back home to get Will’s stuff, then turned around to bring him to Owen’s for the morning. With him happily playing legos, I was out of the Nash household by 10:25 and off to spend a couple hours working at the library. Not, unfortunately, the library that I had hoped, since that one doesn’t open until noon on Thursdays. After spending a good 20 minutes in gridlocked traffic, I found my way to another branch.

I’m not naming any names, since this one just really wasn’t what I’d been hoping for. The parking lot was gravel and weeds — actually, it was the parking lot for the abandoned gas station next door. Once inside, I actually kind of liked the atmosphere, although it was definitely 70s era. I turned on my laptop so I could get to work, though, and there was no wireless. That was highly annoying, since I can absolutely guarantee you that people are emailing me and wondering why I’m not responding, but without the wireless, I can’t even put an away message. Grrrr.

I would have stayed to do work, but I felt lost. Then, being lost, I really wanted some coffee. Then, deciding that my day simply couldn’t start without my coffee, I got all antsy. And then the storytime started on the other side of the wall from where I was sitting.

Oh, goodness. It all started coming at me: Bad mom! Bad mom! (You leave your son with a friend instead of spending quality time with him like all the happy parents and kids next door, including the effervescently cheerful storyteller?) Worse mom! Worse mom! (You leave your son with a friend in order to work, but you didn’t even check out whether or not you’d be able to?) Worst mom in the world! Worst mom in the world! (You leave your son with a friend in order to do work that you can’t do and then the thing that’s really bothering you is that you haven’t had coffee yet?)

Sigh. Run away. Run away quickly.

Back I was in grid-locked traffic, determined to find a Dunkin Donuts where I could both drink coffee and get work done. Knowing that there was one right up the road, I thought, well, why the heck not? Alas, the one up the street was a drive-thru only. Foiled again.

O.k. GPS time. Find the closest DD other than that one. On your way there, drive past the Nash house and feel guilty all over again. Remind yourself that Will is having a much better time playing with Owen than he would be with you getting lost on the streets of West Roxbury and being in a non-coffee’d up state.

I finally found the Dunkin Donuts and then decided to go to the library branch that I would have been at originally if it hadn’t opened at noon. I got to the library at a few minutes after 11. (Yes, that whole saga took 40 minutes.) It took me ten more minutes to drive past it, turn into the CVS parking lot, wait until the annoying car in front of me worked it’s way through the lot, run back around, and park in front of the library. Yay, shady benches right there in front! I got out the computer — and my iced coffee and breakfast sandwich — and happily sat down. Perfection.

Except not so much, thanks to my uncanny ability to attract people, even when I have my back to them, my head hunched down, and I offer monosyllabic answers as they begin complaining about the 45 minutes they have to wait until the library opens and they don’t want to waste the gas to go back home, given the prices these days.

Really? I just went through all of that to have that conversation?

Trying to be even more obvious — while also at the time not being completely rude (yes, I realize this is why those conversations continue) — I began getting my computer out of my backpack. The fateful decision was that I decided to do so despite my breakfast sandwich not being done. Did I put the sandwich down? No, I decided to be all fancy and do it one-handed. Any guesses as to what happened next? Yep. You got it. I done flung that breakfast sandwich over the back of the bench. There it sat, strewn across the lovingly landscaped West Roxbury library lawn. I did have the thought that maybe the West Roxbury lawns, being West Roxburyian and all, were clean enough for me to still eat it. If the cheese hadn’t been all mulched by that point, I might even have tried it. But alas, mulched it was. As I threw it away, I told myself that I shouldn’t have been having a breakfast sandwich anyway. It didn’t help.

So here I sit, breakfast sandwich now in the trash, sitting on the bench and writing this post. Not posting this post, mind you, since I have no wireless still, but writing it nevertheless. Now off to work…

***

I am happy to report that work got done. Amazing how productive you can be when you don’t have email to distract you. Will and I went on to have a lovely afternoon meeting his new teacher and some of his classmates, getting a special McDonald’s lunch, and hanging out with Aidan from across the street.

And this all brings me to his agenda for tomorrow. He wants to buy me a car.

As you all know, Will is obsessed with cars. One of his latest things is that he wants to buy me one. I mean, he really wants to. Not a toy one, mind you, a real one.

Last week, he came into the dining room and told me that, for my birthday, he was going to buy me some trucks. Big ones, like Owen’s dad’s.

“Really,” I murmured. ‘Where are you going to get the money?”

“I have a lot of coins in my bank,” he answered.

“I’m not sure if that’s enough,” I said. “Trucks cost a lot of money.”

He thought for a moment. “That’s o.k. I’ll put the dirt from Wendy’s Cow House in bags and sell it. It smells good. People will want some.”

(You think I’m making that one up. I’m not. I swear.)

Well o.k. then. “Thanks.” (I mean, what else could I say? Truly.)

He nodded and went back into the living room.

Clearly, it wasn’t just a one time thing. Today’s conversation happened while we were driving to meet Kelley for our First Day of School dinner celebration at Cabot’s. On our way, we passed three dealerships.

“Mommy,” Will said. “Are those car stores?”

Yep.

“Tomorrow I’m going to buy you one car from each one.”

Which of course brought up the cost issue again — “Will, they cost a lot of money.”

He gave me that glare of his that says, Do you not remember that we’ve already discussed this? “I’ll bring my bank. There’s a lot of money in there. If Daddy comes with me, they’ll let me get one.”

The topper was when we got home and got the mail. Both Will and Lucy received a card from Grandma and Grandpa. In each card, was a wonderful surprise — $5 for Lucy, $2 for Will. (Now normally, of course, I wouldn’t be so crass as to discuss such details, but how else to share the ending to the story?) Will’s eyes lit up like you wouldn’t believe. “This kind is paper money. Now I’ll have even more to buy you a car.”

So who knows? Kelley’s got Will tomorrow and who am I to say that they shouldn’t be buying me a new car? The next time you see me, I might be driving a fancy new pick-up. Or maybe not. O.k. Probably not, but only time will tell.