Okay, I can see that I’m going to be the one who doesn’t get all mushy and nostalgic about back to school time. Here’s a picture of me doing my Happy Dance after my kids get on the school bus on the first day of school. Okay, it’s really a picture of me celebrating my book deal last summer. I don’t have any pictures of me doing the Happy Dance, because I only do it when I’m alone. Plus, I’m usually naked. But anyway, you get the idea.
Truly, I LOVE the back to school time of year and not only because the kids are back in school. Alright, my kids are older; old enough to be REALLY, REALLY ANNOYING after an entire summer of “Mom, I’m bored what should I do?” from my 11-year-old son and gold medal-worthy eye-rolling from my 14-year-old daughter. Come September I need those kids to get back to school just as much as they need to be there. (Also, I fear their IQs are dropping with each and every episode of Judge Judy or Wipeout that they watch.)
But I also welcome the fall because I finally feel released from all that pressure to be outside and to be productive. If you’re not careful, all that sunshine and fresh air could kill a girl from New York City! I planted a garden this summer. A huge garden. So for most of the summer I was compelled to be out in it. I was either digging or planting or weeding or, my personal favorite, squishing potato bugs with my bare hands. (Yeah, we’re totally against killing things with chemicals around here, but bare-handed murder is just fine by us.) And as soon as I came in from the garden each morning, there would be my two beloved smallish mammals (actually, one’s bigger than me and the other one is working on it) along with a passel of their bleary-eyed friends all wondering if I could take them to the mall, the beach, bowling, the movies. I guess word got out that I’d quit my day job and was actually home this summer and our house became summer camp central. (One day last week I actually conducted two important phone conferences from a bowling alley!) But I really don’t mind. All the better to be up in the kids’ business, get to know their friends and overhear some hilarious conversations. But by the end of the summer, I was exhausted.
Anyway, I say praise the school bus and do the happy dance (or pass the happy drink as the case may be). Now I can get back to work. I can clean up the detritus of 97 sleep-overs. I can get back to writing the proposal for my second book, which I was sure I would have done by Labor Day! Well, once I dig up all those potatoes, onions and carrots, can all those tomatoes, make twelve gallons of pesto and what do you do with sixteen pounds of kale?