First and foremost: thank you to all of you who wrote in response to my desperate gasp with comforting words, offers of advice and help, and general "it'll be okay" vibes. You people are amazing.
I'm happy to report that the start of school has been a resounding success around here. My son has just started second grade at a new school — never easy to be the new kid — and he's shown such courage and strength in the face of everything. I'm proud, relieved, and so grateful to have found a school that's a good fit for him.
Once again, parenting life has slapped me upside the head: just because the academic and social ins-and-outs of school were easy for me doesn't mean the same will be true for my kids. At each stage, I find I must be reminded (in often painful ways) that these children have their own ways of being that determine how they respond to the process of growing up. The grand irony is that my son's way of being is just about opposite to mine, so my ways of coping with difficulty, my ways of seeking comfort, my ways of blowing off steam are totally different than his. And since I'm the mom, I'm the one who has to suck it up and do the translating even though I want to bang my fists on the floor and scream for ice cream.
It's the best lesson in humility and compassion I'll ever get.
Now, to business: the hacks are back! For the next little while I'm going to concentrate on getting the hacks published, so I'm going to forego my usual habit of emailing you back when I receive your hack or when I've scheduled it to go up. If you have a question or comment by all means email me and I'll reply, but, in the interest of speed, I'm doing away with the general "Got it!" and "Your hack will go up on X date" notes (for now).
More admin thoughts to come, but, till then, thank you for bearing with me during my absence, and for being the best blog community there is.