Back to School


Here it is, August – still hot enough to keep your underwear in the freezer. Also the peak of hurricane season.

But school is starting anyway. 

I used to say that they should push the first day of school back to October, so in case we got to flee for our lives, at least the kids won’t miss no classes.

But I ain’t saying that this year. This year nobody, including myself, can wait another blessed second to get them kids out the house and into actual in-person school.

 And then we will take a week off work and sleep three days straight, and on the fourth day, give their room a good cleaning. Find out what is causing that smell.

That’s my plan.

After all them months of them sitting in front the computer, and us slinking around the house, not raising our voice, or passing gas, or appearing in the background without our pants on; followed by summer vacation, with them still sitting in front the computer, but watching TikTok and then acting out whatever they watched – we’ll have peace.

Of course, we now have to admit that these kids know a LOT we never heard of. That ridiculous new math. How to text each other on Google classroom instead of passing notes in class. 

Which is why we got to INSIST that the schools make them learn cursive writing. It’s the one thing we know and they don’t. So what if they can write computer code and we can’t? We can join letters together and make twirly tails on our y’s. So there. 

My sister-in-law Gloriosa is bragging that her little daughter Flambeau is going to learn cursive right from the start. She enrolled the child in this fancy preschool, PrimaNOLA. 

Gloriosa’s older kids went to their parish church’s preschool, but Gloriosa says PrimaNOLA is more prestigious. The admission standards are very high. Not only does everybody have to pass basic potty training, but they also got to know their alphabet. And did she mention that Flambeau will be learning cursive? 

Now Flambeau is listening to all this about cursive. But she thinks they are saying “cursing.” You can see where this is going.  

Each PrimaNOLA teacher pays a house call on each new student before school officially starts, to evaluate them in their home environment. Gloriosa spent a week cleaning Flambeau’s home environment, mowing the home environment’s lawn, and she even hangs a autumn wreath on the home environment’s front door.

And when Gloriosa opens the door to Miss Bootsie, Flambeau peeks out from behind her mama and greets her teacher with a big smile. And a bad word. 

A very bad word. 

Gloriosa thinks fast. “LUCK!  Yes, Flambeau, it is very good LUCK that Miss Bootsie is here! Just sit down, Miss Bootsie, and we’ll get you a nice cold glass of…”  she hustles Flambeau into the kitchen.

“Sweet tea would be lovely,” calls Miss Bootsie, who is new in town and under the impression she is in the South, instead of New Orleans, where we each sweeten our ice tea separately, or add a slug of rum on a bad day. 

In the kitchen, Gloriosa is telling Flambeau, through gritted teeth, NEVER to use that word again. Then they come back with the tea, and Miss Bootsie chit-chats to Gloriosa, who smiles and nods and wracks her brain wondering where Flambeau picked up that word… a TikTok video her brother watched? 

Miss Bootsie is saying how first we learn our printing and then move on to cursive….

Immediately Flambeau pipes up with another bad word. A DOOZY of a bad word. Then she says, “I can curse already!” 

Miss Bootsie stands up, leaves her ice tea sweating on the coffee table, and says she’d best be going now – and Gloriosa should expect to  hear from the school director in the morning.

So much for PrimaNOLA. Thank God some kid  dropped out of the church preschool at the last minute, so  Flambeau is going there after all. 

I ask Gloriosa if they will teach cursive.

She snorts, “To hell with cursive.”

Flambeau couldn’t of said it better.

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