The sixth grade was my favorite school year. My mother decided it best to home school my younger sister, then a 4th grader, and I because the school we were zoned to attend was less than stellar. My brother refers to this as “the year our education was put on hold”, but I tend to disagree. While my peers were reading Babysitter’s Club and learning about giga pets and math, I was devouring Martha Stewart Living magazine (a subscriber at age 11), whipping up batches and of batches of cookies each week, gardening and learning science through the lens of Laura Ingles Wilder. All very useful in my adult life. I prided myself on only listening to 89.7, the local classical station—that is, until I was introduced to the Spice Girls late in the year. At the time, British and sophistication were synonymous to me. And I was completely oblivious to the latest fashion trends, modeling my outfits as closely as possible to the ones I saw in the Ralph Lauren ads in my “MSL’s”.
Seventh grade, my least favorite school year, came far too quickly. And along with it came pre-algebra and social obligations. I could no longer work in solitude, baking and rearranging my room at will. I had to talk about the current events 12 year olds are concerned with, worry about my braces and think about what to wear on Homecoming Court. I longed for days off, and frequently faked ill just to spend some time at home. On these days, I would return to my old routines, finding comfort in listening to music and making food for my family.
To this day, I still find that comfort in coming home, putting on some good music and baking. Drained from a long day, and frankly, feeling a little blue, I decided that making a batch of cookies and a pot of coffee would be the best way to enjoy this evening alone. And that is precisely what I did.