Tuesday August 19, 2003 11:18 PM
School Supplies and Robots

Time is what keeps everything from happening at once.

I think maybe Einstein said that, I'm not sure, but it's true.

Time also separates us from events in the past and in the future. The events of the future are unknowable to us in the present. The events of the past are known to us, but as the present inexorably sweeps forward, they can change and erode and eventually dissolve into vague shadows.

A big part of the original purpose of the website you are reading this very moment was to battle that erosion by recording the events in my past to serve, if not as a perfect account, at least as a trigger for the recollection of the emotions of previous days. As I sift through the fading memories of the past month+, thinking about all the things I meant to write about but didn't, I can only decide that now is when the silence ends and the shadows begin to take on solid form as I return to my archival tasks.

Last night we took Isaiah to the store to pick up school supplies for the beginning of his second (and last) year of preschool. The list was short. Three items: 'big kid' safety scissors with metal blades, water colors, and Play Doh. Isaiah's school sends out a list to all parents which not only makes known what students will need, but also displays pictures of each of the items so that the students need not know how to read to help find their supplies in the store.

I think this is pretty cool and Ruth and I were kind of excited in a cheesy, parentish way that Isaiah would be picking out his own stuff. Of course, he did last year, too, but you know- he'd be doing it again!

He had a good time and did pick out his stuff, but he wasn't nearly as interested in picking out school supplies as we were. He was more concerned about whether he was going to get to check out the toy department when we were done. We were not the only ones selecting school supplies last night, though. The discount store whose aisles we were meandering up and down was stuffed to the gills with other parents and their kids of widely varying ages and interest levels. I was very glad that we only had three things to get long before we'd gotten them all.

Isaiah was good and we did check out the toy department. He found (as he always does) several new items to "put on my list". After the toys, just like night follows day, we had to visit the clearance section to satisfy Ruth's craving for a good bargain. She drew a blank this time, though Isaiah scored when he spotted a $12 robot kit for $7. It was from a line of robot kits of which Isaiah has a few, but I'd never seen this one before.

Now you understand I am an adult and I have absolutely zero interest in such things as toy robot kits, but Isaiah had been very good and it was not only a good price, but somewhat of a rarity. As I said, I'd never seen this particular one before and I always scan all the robots in great detail- for Isaiah, of course.

He bugged me about putting it together when we got home as we sat in the parking lot of the grocery store where we'd stopped on the way home so Ruth could get some eggs and milk. I told him that I didn't think we'd have time since we hadn't had supper yet and it was getting late. I turned on the radio and 'Lullabye in Birdland' began to flow melifluously from the speakers.

"Maybe we'll have time to put together the smaller robot we got the other night while Mommy's cooking supper, though. Do you like this music?"

"Yeah- that's jazz! I love jazz! Hey, maybe if we finish the little robot and we still have time, we can do the big one, too!"

"We'll see. Here comes Mommy."

Later on, we finished the little robot just as supper was ready. We enjoyed waffles, eggs, and sausage as we watched the episode of Enterprise I'd taped Saturday evening. I was especially delighted to note that not only was it a good episode (evidenced by the fact that Ruth didn't even voice her less than monumental appreciation of having to watch Star Trek), but it was one I'd only gotten to see the beginning of when we were on vacation earlier this year at the #5 Retirement Resort in Mesa, AZ.

Another milestone has passed. This one is just a precursor, though, to much bigger ones. Isaiah will soon be starting preschool again, but this time he'll be going three days a week all day. Well, 9 to 2:30, but for a 4 year old that is every bit of all day. He'll even be taking his lunch with him this year. He's already looking forward to that- especially the Oreos he wants to take as dessert.