new york city kid in arkansas
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The other day I went to one of my favorite local places and treated myself to a special cup of coffee on my way to work. Once there, I placed it on my desk and immediately forgot about it, so preoccupied with hundreds of tasks, big and small, in preparation for the first day of school.  I discovered it two hours later and screamed in disbelief, promptly chugging the cold, bitter swill that had replaced my delicious plan. That story perfectly sums up the month of August for every educator, school administrator and parent in this part of the country. We can’t even remember to drink our coffee.

The weekend before Huck started 7th grade, the person who hung out in the waiting room while he was being born came to visit from Austin. That’s right, his former magician’s assistant Shannon! And while we did all the things we love to do when we’re with our favorite Texan (drink coffee and wine, play games, talk for hours, laugh hard), we also celebrated the momentous occasion of junior high with other lifelong friends Shana, John, Russell and Cheryl. We had a singalong, planted an ebony and ivory crepe myrtle in the backyard along with a drawing Huck made when he was 3 in an attempt to say goodbye to his childhood, played Telestrations around the fire pit, filled a jar with wisdom, enjoyed a champagne toast, and finally surprised him with his very own iPhone hidden in the piano bench. While Huck read text after text from family and friends around the country, we adults told junior high stories of our own, sure we have the next awkward hit movie on our hands.

After another absurd week in America, NPR asked its listeners this question the other morning: “How are you holding up?” followed by a just-long-enough pause for me to play a medley in my head of these eight months of 2017. Somehow in the thick of painful press conferences, tweets, Nazis and confederate flags, we’ve managed to almost make it to Labor Day still sometimes happy. Like yesterday when I got home at the end of a long day to find Huck working on algebra and Troy working on a puzzle next to him while listening to Weird Al Yankovic rapping loudly. “Hi Mama!” they both shouted enthusiastically as I began putting groceries away. And while I can’t recommend that music choice to anyone, it was a moment of clarity. This is how we’re holding up.

3 comments

Aunt Jeni

August 25th, 2017

Can’t believe my Huckles is in 7th grade and has an iPhone. And Weird Al Yankovic…I think I was there when we all learned about or re-discovered that gem. Happy school year Schremmers!

Shauntsies

August 25th, 2017

So much wonderful. What a trip!! Miss you guys so much, and love all of this. You took a picture of Huck pre-haircut at his locker?? XOXO

Pappy T

August 26th, 2017

And caterpillars! The Monarch caterpillars also help! : )

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