Well, it's the (drumroll please) big night before Charlie starts at his new school.
Kind of ironically, he would have missed quite a bit of school had we remained in New Jersey due to the bombogenesis that is following the polar vortex.
In his 16 1/2 years, Charlie has attended no fewer than 11 schools. On the eve of him starting his 12th, we are anticipating the big day by not making a big deal about it, having learned (history is one good teacher) that the best way to help our boy maintain the peaceful-easy feeling is to take the advice Jim has always given me before various job interviews, conference presentations, etc. over the years: Just treat it like it's another day in your life.
Accordingly on Tuesday, Charlie did the new usual usual in his California life: Two bike rides with Jim, for a total of 500 miles since we arrived out West. McDonald's. Two visits to my parents' house.
There was one difference.
For the first time in a long time, and for the first time since we came here, Charlie has been listening to a particular Barney album, Barney's Sleepytime Songs.
I'm not quite sure why this one, out of the five or so Barney albums on his iPad, gets the most listens. It is the case that, in the past several weeks, Charlie has been saying 'up, Barney!' (we're not quite sure of the meaning; it might have something to do with picking up the stuffed Barney toy he once had until someone [um, me] put the purple one in the garbage after a self-injurious incident [bombogenesis-the-Charlie-version, so to speak! hey, we've been though a lot, we're still together], or something to do with putting the stuffed Barney that the opthamalogist had in her office on a certain shelf high up).
It is also the case that Charlie has been looking routinely at a photo of him sitting at the little table in our old kitchen while wearing prism lenses and looking at his Goodnight Moon book, the Barney toy sitting beside him.
Charlie has his own ways of getting ready for, with and through things.