Last Monday, the day before school started (and I returned to work after a nice long break), the girls and I headed up to Sonoma again. We stopped at a lovely produce stand, hiked at Jack London State Historic Park, and ran around the Sonoma Town Square. It was the perfect summer day, and a great way to officially end our vacation.
They’re together again! Zoe and her best friend Zachary are in the same class for the 7th year – dating back to preschool. They also recently got a new nickname, courtesy of a Galileo camp counselor: ”ZZ Top.”
The girls both had homework on their first day of school; they each had to fill small paper bags with items that represent their personalities and interests. I helped Avery with her bag and started offering Zoe some suggestions for hers when she stopped me. ”Can I do this on my own because it’s my own project?” she asked with a serious tone. She paused and said, as way of explanation, “I’m in third grade now.”
Today was a big day: the girls’ first day of school. I would call it a success: Avery, who is in class with all her closest friends this year, ran off in happiness right when we dropped her off (no hesitation or clinginess at all). And Zoe was over-the-moon happy with the organizer and homework “briefcase” that she received; she whispered to me when she got home, “I think my teacher might be the best one in the whole school.”
Earlier today, a few months after completing her school’s Fun Run, Zoe ran in the Giant Race. She successfully ran two laps around AT&T – finishing among the first third of runners – and made me one proud mama! Avery wasn’t interested in joining her, but maybe next year…
Avery got something pretty cool in the mail on Friday: a package from her new teacher, Mrs. E! Zoe and I knew what it was the moment we saw it (Zoe got a similar package two years ago), and the three of us happily tore into the contents, which included a welcome letter, a book, pencils, and special anti-jitter glitter for Avery to put under her bed the night before school.
Mommy Camp was on a temporary hold when the four of us went to Phoenix a few days ago. It was hotter than normal (118 degrees on our first day there!) but the girls kept cool by staying mostly poolside…
When I asked Avery what she wanted to do during Mommy Camp, “visit the pretty stairs” was her answer. She remembered the colorful set of stairs that we first discovered last fall, and so we headed there again last week. Unlike last time, it was foggy and cool – we couldn’t see the Golden Gate Bridge, the ocean or much of anything from the top – but it was still worth a visit!
We’re in the middle of Mommy Camp (I took two weeks off to be with the girls in between camp and school), and it’s been an amazingly fun week of visiting parks, playgrounds and libraries; exploring the city; and taking little road trips. One of the highlights was our Wednesday trip up to Sonoma County, where we spent time with Angela and ran through a field of flowers…
Very much a city girl – and an on-the-land type, apparently – Avery gave us a funny answer when we inquired about her favorite part of our recent whale-watching excursion. “The best part of the boat is when we get off the boat,” she told us. She actually seemed to enjoy herself on the boat, though – ironically, it was poor Zoe who had trouble with the sea. I’m not sure we’ll be boating on the choppy waters again in the near future, but at least we can say we did it!
Other highlights from our weekend in Monterey: taking a whale watching trip (where we saw both whales and dolphins), meeting a few feathered friends on the wharf, visiting the gorgeous Lovers Point Park (again), and – despite not wearing terribly sensible shoes – doing some rock climbing. We actually made the drive down to visit the aquarium, but there were so many other things to do that we spent only a short amount of time there… (Next trip!)
Camp Galileo, which Zoe has gone to for the last three years, is over for the summer. On Friday, she said good-bye to her beloved counselor, Victoria (reminding me of when she said good-bye to Geoff her first summer) – and happily cheered with her fellow campers.