# 25. First day of school blues. “Get through it,” say Mimi and Pop. I’ve got a Way-Back Seat memory of other situations where I used to get through hard stuff.

School started today, sad to say. We registered last week and got a tour. The principal showed our two families around. Mimi, Pop, Zia (we’re all calling her that now), Oliver, me, Clyde and Sam. The principal walks backwards while she faces us and talks, like a college kid giving a tour. She carries a walkie-talkie; I don’t know why we didn’t laugh about this, but, well, we weren’t seeing the silly side of things. She wore a shoulder pad suit and high high heels; I have never had an authority figure who wears such.

This is a K-12 school.  I’m worried. The twins will be out of my sight in the Lower School wing; how will they find me if there’s trouble? I’m in the Middle School. Oliver is part-time in the Upper School and part-time down the street at the vocational-agriculture school. I’m not sure why he’s so far ahead of me when he’s not that much older.

The new school is the one Dad went to, so that’s good. It’s had a few addition, solar panels, and community garden plots since then but it’s still has one of each grade except for the two small kindergarten.

My teacher must have told my classmates about Mom and Dad; everyone’s quiet and acting careful like they’re tiptoeing on glass, even though they’re not. Kids go silent when I come near.

Mimi and Pop told me this new-school startup is something I just have to Get Through.

It’s like the time I hiked with Mom and Dad to the meadow side of the Rock River Spillway. (We wanted to see the stone fish ladder–another story; later, though). To get there, we walk through woods loaded with pricker bushes.  When a thorny tangle blocks the way, Dad or Mom hold the branches up one at a time with as few fingers as possible. Clyde and Sam scoot underneath; we three big people bend over and follow. No one gets snagged, it just takes a looooong time to get to the fun part of the hike where the water rushes over sparkly rocks and the meadow is full of flowers. (And the fish ladder and little pools full of little fish who bypassed the mill!! But, like I said, later for this.)

We expected pricker bushes or obstacles of some sort on our hikes, and I guess Mimi and Pop think I should expect thorny stuff at school, too.

The comparison isn’t exactly the same.

I’m alone at school; no big Dad or Mom to protect me from the thorns.

isabelcrossleg21.jpgIsabel Scheherazade (sketches by my friend, Ryan)