the caves of altamira


Sure, there’s plenty to say, but… is anyone around for the next couple of weeks what with the crazy late Labor Day, high holy days, and the fact that the joyful end of Ramadan falls on Sept. 11? Chime in if you’re stuck in front of the internet instead of wallowing in summer’s verdant denouement!

0 thoughts on “the caves of altamira

  1. LFMD

    Yes, I am here. Not much is new except that my daughter starts 6th grade (MIDDLE SCHOOL!) tomorrow. Her school is K through 8, so it is not as much of a change, but there is enough of a change to cause some anxiety. We attended a middle school orientation earlier in the week, and Helen realized that she was not in the same class as many of her friends. This led to a night of tears (who will I sit with at lunch? Who will I play with at recess? Will my friends still be my friends now that we are not in the same class? I am afraid that I will be lonely). I talked and hugged her through her concerns that night, and she seems to be feeling better, but I am surprised by this: her anxiety about middle school has brought back ALL of MY middle school anxiety in one big nausea-producing wave. I have been having dreams about all of my middle school’s MEAN GIRLS, sitting alone at the lunch table, being excluded at recess, etc.
    Helen is a very confident, well-adjusted kid, and I think she will be fine. I know that all of this pre-school jitters is normal. The thing is that when she hurts, I hurt. When she is nervous, I am nervous. I take on her suffering AND get loaded down with the memories of my own anxiety.
    One of the things I love most about being a parent is that I get to relive all the joys of being a child (Halloween! the Jersey Shore! Having a puppy!) and I can share all of my fun memories with her. The flip side of that is that you end of re-living parts of your past that you would rather leave behind.
    I don’t know how parents with more than one kid do this. Going through middle school one more time with Helen is all that I can take!

  2. CM

    I’m here too, and loving the pre-fall stormy weather we’ve been having on the East Coast.
    In a week I get to go on maternity leave. Yay yay yay. Click my initials above to see how baby is helping me write my novels.

  3. MarkC

    Here as well. Had a great summer with the boy (the turned three earlier this month). He got to travel to both grandparents lakes this summer, took his first plane trip, and was proud that he had 2 lifejackets (one at each lake). My summer winds down with a trip to Scotland next week to complete in the Dualtholon World Championships which should be a lot of fun being with on the USA team (I finished 21st in my age group at US nationals so no illusions about winning just having fun and putting in a good race). Disappointed though I am missing Ironman Louisville this weekend as I have not been able to put in the necessary training time for a race of that distance due to a new job at work that is demanding a lot of attention as I get up to speed. But I am enjoying the work and the trip to Scotland for a race really takes the edge off of missing the ironman race.
    Looking forward to the fall though, cooler temps, college football, and halloween (the boy has already decided he wants to be a pirate).
    One note: if you did not see the Daily show on Monday (Aug 23) watch the first 10 minutes, it is great for a good laugh at Fox News expense, with a great bit on whether they are Evil or Stupid. I like to refer to them as the cartoon network.
    Take care everyone and have a great last few weeks of summer.

  4. Mindy

    Here, sigh. Wish I could be enjoying these last days of summer with my kids, but am stuck in my office working away. I’m almost glad school starts soon, so I can stop feel like I’m missing out on all the fun.
    LFMD – I love what you said about getting to relive the joys of childhood but also having to relive the parts you’d rather leave behind. My daughter is only almost 8 and I worry often that she’ll go through the same things I did. My mantra lately is “she’s not me, she’s not me!”

  5. Caroline

    I’m here. My husband is super busy at work. I’m so depressed to be here. I’m super boooooooooooooooorrrrrrrrrreeeeeeeeddddddd.

  6. Scott

    Here as well.
    Seems like vacations are hard to come by – at least the week long plus variety. We did have a great four-day weekend mini-vacation this past weekend with a day at the beach in RI and a fabulous day of tennis in New Haven.
    School starts next week for my son, so the end is nigh.
    A question for you all – maybe I should save for a code word session – How many years have you been out of school (whatever your last level of school was) and do you still feel the tension/excitement/stress building around this time of year like you did when you were in school?
    This may have been asked in past years, but it still fascinates me. That first day of school is SUCH a pivotal transition point of the year. The entire country’s schedule changes (though that schedule change is phased in across the country with the different start dates).

  7. Sharon

    To Scott – Back to school is a stressful time in our household because we have kids. There are all the supply lists and multiple trips to Staples, Target, etc. This year has the added drama of my older daughter starting middle school. However, I agree that there’s a change in the workplace as well. The dress code gets a little less informal and a lot more people are here on Friday afternoons.
    to LFMD – Dropped my daughter off at middle school this morning. She was terrified. There are 1100 students at her school. She knows a lot of people, but it’s still intimidating. She was also worried about who she’ll sit with at lunch (which she has a 10:15 a.m.), how she’ll find the orchestra room and meeting a lot of new people. Her day begins at 7 and I won’t pick her up from our afterschool program until 5:30 – 6. Just seems a lot for an 11 y.o. Wish I could afford to stay home or work part-time.

  8. LFMD

    I graduated from UNC 20 years ago, and it has been 17 years since my law school graduation. For years, I tended to be extremely sentimental about back-to-school time, filled with fond memories of the high points of school. . . . and I probably felt this way because school was DONE and behind me.
    As my daughter starts middle school, I am tense and stressed. Yesterday, I realized that our printer was not working. This realization (apparently my husband dropped some paper clips in the printer and forgot to mention it to me) quickly led to a meltdown. Middle school starts this week! The work load is heavier! We need a functioning printer! We need a new printer NOW! There will be projects to work on!! The world is coming to an end! I literally worked myself into a fevered pitch, cursing and stomping my feet. You’d never know it now, but I was a total type A student (valedictorian, Phi Beta Kappa, straight A’s BLAH BLAH BLAH) and I stressed out about school hard. Now that daughter is in middle school, my bad type A habits are rearing their ugly head. . . desk must be in order, classwork done in advance, assignments in assignment book, computer and printer must be ready. She is a good student, and I really need to be respectful of her work style. I am not the one in 6th grade. . . she is. It is hard, though. I want her to be successful, but she seems to need to be nudged along the way. I was the kid who set my own alarm, got dressed, made my breakfast, packed my lunch, and walked alone to school IN KINDERGARTEN while my stay-at-home mother slept in and took care of my baby brother.
    This is a rambling way of saying that my thoughts about back-to-school as a parent are very different from my pre-parent days.

  9. kazoo

    yes, sadly, here…though i have an office environment that allows light to come streaming in, leaving the door open, and birds chirping outside. small comfort when trying to fight off carpal tunnel from too much time typing…

  10. kent

    I’m here. No vacation to speak of this summer. We were out for Michelle’s wedding, but that was a real whirlwind tour, made more fraught by my luggage gone walkabout.
    Hoping to have more breaks this fall…

  11. jje

    MarkC – one of my best friends (mutually shared by scruggs) is competing in Scotland at the World Championships next week, too! So excited for her (and wishing I could stow away in her luggage so I could cheer her on). Good luck to you as well! And my husband is training for a half Ironman in November (Beach to Battleship in Wilmington, NC) with plans to do a full next year – that kind of training is no joke!
    I’m here and school began for my little kindergartener on Monday, though it’s been one of those ease-in starts. Friday is his first full day at the Catholic school in our neighborhood. So happy about being able to walk him there and back, plus hang out in the park that backs up to it in the afternoons when it’s nice. My two year old will do two mornings a week at our preschool beginning in September. I am looking forward to having time all to myself to hit the gym, meet up with my girlfriends at the coffee shop and lunch spots, shop, read, volunteer at the schools and the new RMcDonald House….and do laundry, errands, grocery shop and all other boring but necessary appointments that are difficult to do with little ones in tow.
    I’m a little anxious about K for my five year old, but mostly excited for him. I’m ready for this stage of his life and eager to see him bloom under a wonderful teacher. Some concerns about separation anxiety with my two year old, but I think within a couple of days he’ll be fine. And of course, I’ll enjoy spending so much one on one time with him now that big brother is in school full time. Lots of fun things to do when it’s just two of us – music class, parks, the children’s library, the renovated science museum is wonderful and I’m eager for the new children’s museum just outside of the city to open up.
    So ready for cooler weather, neighborhood festivals like Greekfest (Greek pastries…yum!) and Festival in the Park, football games and Halloween. Go away summer and come on down fall! :-)

  12. xuxE

    my son just started middle school at the beginning of august (year round schedule) and he is just psyched that he gets to switch rooms during the day and has this massive binder with all his subjects. i think he’s also just psyched to have the right of passage and upgrade, so to speak. i just can’t get over the fact he is about to be attending middle school dances…

  13. emma

    Summer over today. School started for my second and fifth graders today. Unfortunately, I am at a child support conference in sunset beach and my oldest turns ten tomorrow. Very bummed about not being there. But they both had good first days. And I did get a cute story. A little boy sat down in his assigned seat across from my seven year old daughter, slapped his hand against his forehead and said, “oh, man, Mom! She is my kryptonite!” Its gonna be a hilarious year!

  14. Anne

    Stuck at home with the dregs of a 3-week misery thanks to bronchitis and pneumonia. Worked three days of a new job last week, relapsed, and am still at home. The third (new) antibiotic and some big doses of prednisone seem to finally be doing the trick, although for some reason I am now insomniac.
    Youngest kid heads off to college on Friday; daughter is already back at Syracuse. After 30 plus years of working in higher ed, I am finding myself quite sad/nostalgic about the whole beginning-of-fall-semester thing. Out of habit, I still use an academic year day planner. The year starts in SEPTEMBER, dammit! not January.
    My recliner (which functions as my bed, since I can’t lie down without coughing up a lung) is beckoning. zzzzzzzz

  15. Neva

    Still here Ian. School starting up again makes me feel grounded and settled. I like a rut.
    Had a great summer with a wonderful trip to Europe that caused a huge let down afterward but that’s the price you pay.
    Anne, prednisone keeps you awake, but so glad you are finally improving!

  16. MarkC

    jje – I hear great things about Beach to Battle race, it is run by the folks who ran the Blue Devil iron distance race a few years back, and they always do a nice job. Best of luck to your husband on that and your friend in Scotland, I am very excited as my training has really started to come together in the last few weeks.
    PS – I did my first 1/2 iron race one month before my first iron distance and thought there was no way I could double the distance, but I did it and that is still my best iron finish so don’t let any doubts creep into your husbands head, he can do.


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