Praise the School Bus and Do the Happy Dance!

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?

Deb Eve

7 Replies to “Praise the School Bus and Do the Happy Dance!”

  1. Can you FedEx me some tomatoes? Our tomatoes are in a sorry state after a tree fell on them this summer. Troupers that they are, they survived, but they are definitely worse for wear.

    Mmmmmm. Pesto…

  2. Y’know, I wish I could FedEx potatoes, kale and basil. We’ve got it coming out our ears! Sadly, I don’t think they do very well in the mail. Speaking of potatoes, kale, et al. the garden awaits. It’s time to harvest the potatoes!

  3. LOL! It’s downright amazing how much cleaner the house is once they’re not here trashing it all day all summer long. Though I do miss their presence a bit. Yet I do not miss the execrable MTV programming that seemed to be on 24/7 despite my haranguing them to ‘turn that crap off!’
    The squishing the potato bugs is really pretty repulsive. You should do what I do with unwanted insects–I spray them with hairspray. That way I’m not exactly dousing them with known insect toxins, but it does freeze them in their tracks. Obviously forever…

  4. Very funny post, Eve! A friend of mine said she never understood that back-to-school commercial where all the parents are smiling and “the most wonderful time of the year” is playing until she had kids. Yeah, you miss ’em–but think of all that wondrous free time to write! Or make Portuguese potato kale soup and freeze it (my favorite!) or read the paper all the way through without interruption or not have to trip on playmobil toys for a whole five hours or … You fill in the blank.

  5. Hilarious post, Eve, and I love the photo. I will be right there with you, cheering for the school bus and first day of school every day, though since my little one is still so, well, little, it’s still going to be intense for me the next few years. (Today, btw, I dropped her off at the daycare, told her I was leaving and then when I asked her if she wanted to wave to me from the “good-bye” window, she was like “No,” with a total shrug and seeming indifference. She did come to the window after all, but even then, just waved and then wandered off before I was even out the door!)

  6. I started a garden but abandoned it, and now I’m afraid to go out and look at what my neglect has done to all those poor plants. I can kind of see the lettuce from the balcony–it’s about four feet tall.

    Other parents must have seized on your homeness. “Go THERE!” I think you should have charged.

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