I have decided I’m the slowest squirrel on the block. This year, on Dane’s first day of school, I again got it wrong. I got it wrong exactly the same way I got it wrong last year (Auslander). By now I really, truly, do know that despite being in a public school, the first day of school always starts in the village church with a mass. Always. And yet, still, I dropped Dane off at school, wished him well, and happily drove home.

I did notice there weren’t a tons of kids, and while we were early, Germans are notoriously earlier than me. It did get me thinking, so I messaged my girl friend… and learned (again) that the first day of school does not start normal time, at school, but an hour later, in church. I was briefly furious because I’d painstakingly read my 3-page back-to-school letter (in German). I’d even gotten a special edition with a special list to “help” me buy the correct school supplies necessary for Dane, more on this later, but in that letter, I re-read it, there was no mention of delayed start at church the first day of school.

I lamented my woe to my friend, who commiserated with me and vented a little frustration of her own.  Apparently this is one of those things that is just “known”…. and published in the weekly newspaper. The print paper we use to start fires. I’m really going to have to start reading that fountain of information.

As for Dane’s school supplies, It is the first time I’ve ever gotten the COMPLETE LIST filled before the first day of school. Every year we go to the Müller (similar to a Walgreens) for our official back-to-school shopping. It is the most stressful day of the year.  But this year I have all of Dane’s school supplies; including 4 billion different notebooks each with slightly different line heights or margins, or no margin, or one margin, or blue or red or yellow cover with an additional separate wrap-around cover in blue, or green or red or see-through, but not yellow. And two pens, not fountain pens, not ballpoint pens, not fat tip pens but thin tip pens. One in black and one in his favorite color, as long as that color is not yellow. And the new fountain pen, we are at level 3 of dexterity. There are many different levels of fountain pens. I got cartridges, I do not like ink wells mixed with boys. I also have folders, in plastic, not paper, not cardboard, and not see-through. In each color, an extra for German.

I did have to get help to find the big fat binder with separators because big fat binders with separators are actually two different items, not one item as listed in the very specific mile-long list. Still, I did it. I sent him on his way, on his first day of school, at the wrong time, to the wrong place, but with all the right stuff!


First Day of School 2016