Monday, September 2, 2013

Back to School

Hey everyone! It's the day after Labor Day, and unfortunately, that also means that it's the first day of school. Of course, that means that I got out of bed at about 5:30 - a full hour and a half earlier than I needed to, mind you - partly because I was really nervous, and partly because I put a lot of thought into my outfit for the first day of school. As you might be able to guess, Zoe couldn't care less what she wears - as far as she's concerned, the sole purpose of clothes is utility - and consequently, got to sleep in until 7:00.

After trying on just about every possible outfit in my wardrobe, I was left standing in front the mirror in our room with a pile of clothes at my feet and my favorite purple plaid dress in my hands.

I sighed, tossed the dress to the side, and plodded, rather halfheartedly, over to my dresser in search of an outfit that I had yet to try. I had been at this for over an hour and still nothing seemed just right.
I pulled a flowered skirt and the white sleeveless t-shirt that I had worn for my birthday out of a drawer and considered them for a moment. Shrugging, I decided that it couldn't hurt to try.

Pretty, simple, dressy yet not overly so, casual but not to the extent that I looked like, well, Zoe, I was satisfied. A good thing, too, as there wasn't much time left until the bus came.

I retrieved my comb from my bedside table drawer and ran it through my hair, which had become more tangled and frizzy with each new top I had tried on.

I slipped on a purple knit beret and pulled the necklace I had made at Dani's birthday party last summer off the post of our bunk bed, where Zoe was still asleep.

My backpack was hanging off the back of my desk chair, its contents scattered across the surface of the desk and on the shelves underneath. Internally kicking myself for not putting everything together the night before, I started to scrape together all the textbooks and binders within reach and stuffed them into my backpack.

My science textbook went in first.

After shoving in my binder and notebook, I slipped Zoe's and my shared library card and, for encouragement, a birthday card from my best friend that moved in fifth grade into the zippered pocket at the front of the bag.

Those were followed by a few mechanical pencils, in case any ran out of lead.

After a moment of consideration, I slipped my cell phone into the front pouch. Technically they're not allowed, but I wanted to make sure I was always prepared in the case of an emergency.

Pulling the backpack up onto my shoulder, I glanced at my watch. Five minutes to seven. Time to wake up Zoe.
I turned to look at her, somehow still asleep even after I'd been messing around with my dresser drawers for an hour and a half. Just a quick word of warning - Zoe is not a pretty sleeper. She somehow manages to tangle her blankets, clothes, and hair pretty handily, and emerges from her bed every morning looking as if she just lost a fight with her pillow.

"Zoe!" I cried. She must have been pretty soundly asleep, as she didn't seem to respond.

"Zoe!" I nearly shouted. Still nothing.
"ZOE!" She sat bolt upright and said frantically:
"What's going on? Who's dead?"

"No one's dead," I sighed. "It's time for school."

"Ugh," she groaned, and flopped back on her pillow. "What happened to summer?"
"I know," I responded. "Believe me, I do. But the bus is going to be here in ten minutes. Come on!" She groaned again, threw off her covers, and reluctantly climbed out of bed - as always, neglecting to straighten the covers.

Neat freak that I am, I couldn't leave Zoe's bed in such disarray. I straightened the blanket and pillows and nestled her stuffed animals - including an adorable pink owl that a friend of ours brought back from Japan this summer (you can sort of see him in this picture) - amongst them.

"You ready?" I heard Zoe say from over to my right. Not surprisingly, she had dressed in a considerably shorter amount of time than I had. Also not surprising was what she was wearing.

"That's what you're wearing?" I asked, gesturing towards her outfit, which I couldn't help but stare at in disbelief.

"Yeah. What's wrong with it?" Her tone was nonchalant, but I could see a red tint of embarrassment creeping into her cheeks.
"Well, first of all, you seriously need to fix that bed-head," I said, lifting up my comb for a second time and beginning to run it through her hair. Surprisingly enough, Zoe let me.

"And you just can't wear running shorts and a tank top to school," I told her.
"They're comfortable," Zoe grumbled.
"Here," I said, ignoring her, as I handed her a pair of jeggings and her favorite long-sleeved t-shirt. She sighed in resignation and held out her hand.
Moments later, she was standing in front of the mirror, looking - in my opinion, at least - much more presentable.

"See?" I said. "Much better."
"I guess," she said, shrugging, but I could tell she liked it.

 Just then, Mom hollered up to us that we'd miss the bus if we didn't hurry up. Zoe grabbed her shoulder bag and I slipped on my backpack, and we headed downstairs.

As Mom toasted a bagel for me to eat for breakfast, I packed up my lunch. which consisted of a sandwich, an apple, grapes, two snack-sized bags of cheez-its, a small bag of Dove chocolates, and a Butterfinger candy bar. Zoe pulled three dollars out of the teacup in the cupboard so she could buy her lunch at the cafeteria.

I slipped the bagel into my lunch bag so I could eat it while we waited for the bus, and Zoe grabbed a banana out of the basket by the phone. Mom fussed over our clothes and hair and made sure we had everything we needed.

With only minutes to spare, we slipped on our shoes on the bench on the front porch.

Mom insisted, as she always does, that we take a picture together on the front steps to commemorate the first day of school. Zoe mumbled something about why anyone in their right mind would want to celebrate the first day of school, and I asked Mom if she was sure that we wouldn't miss the bus. She waved off our concerns with a flick of her hand and raised the camera.

With kisses and hugs and endless "good luck"s, Mom finally let us go. We set off down the driveway to the bus stop and our first day of school.

I definitely am excited to be a seventh grader this year, but it is too bad that summer's over already. Oh, well. It was, in my opinion, a pretty great summer!
How was your summer? When do you go back to school? Are you excited to meet new friends and learn new things - or are you mourning the end of summer and the return to work? I'd say I'm pretty much a combination of both, but Zoe's probably entirely the latter!

That's all for now! Thanks for reading!