Monday, August 24, 2020

Back to School and Back to the Porch Swing

It's that time of year -- we're going back to school! Despite my mixed emotions about the start of this school year, I have to admit that all the first day pictures on Facebook brightened my day today. My social media feeds have been so full of sadness and politics lately that the photos of happy kids holding lunchboxes and backpacks were a welcome respite.

As the final MAC (Marita/Angel/Charli) book opens, Charli is headed back to school after Christmas break. She, too, has decidedly mixed feelings, though hers have more to do with teen angst than a pandemic. 

I never thought I'd long for teen angst. But I digress.

I haven't put my characters on the porch swing for a while, so I decided that today was a good day to invite them back and hear their feelings about back-to-school.

Angel: I loved getting read to go back to school! Picking out my notebooks, sharpening my pencils --

Bets: Ironing a uniform. Ugh.

Marita: I was always jealous of the kids who got to pick out their own clothes for school instead of being told what to wear.

Charli: Yeah, thanks, Mom. I would totally hate wearing a uniform. Anna would be even worse than I am. She starts planning her first day of school outfit two weeks before school starts!

Angel: Charli, do you have a favorite subject?

Charli: Definitely not math. I'm excited to take a foreign language next year, but I can't decide which one. Mom, you took Spanish, right?

Marita nods. 

Bets: Me too.

Charli: Angel?

Angel: French. And German.

Charli: Wow! Do you remember any of it?

Angel: Some of the French. Not much of the German.

Charli: Angel, did you have to wear a uniform?

Angel nods. I didn't really mind. I needed less time to get ready when I didn't have to pick out an outfit.

Bets: That much is true. But I think all those years of uniforms are the reason I'm a shopaholic now. Well, part of it anyway.

Angel blushes. Me too. I have way too many clothes. 

Marita: As I recall, Bets, your uniforms weren't exactly --

Bets: Uniform? I took great pride in that, thank you very much. 

Marita: And spent a lot of time in the principal's office, too.

Bets: I was the mastermind, but I wasn't exactly there alone.

Marita: I pushed the makeup rules more than the clothing rules. And nail polish.

Charli: You weren't allowed to wear nail polish?

Marita: Clear nail polish only.

Bets: And, I ask you, what is the point of that?

Charli: Did you like anything about Christian school?

Bets & Marita: The boys.

Charli laughs. Some things are still the same.

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