Thursday, August 12, 2010

And we're off

School began this week. Every year it comes earlier – some districts have year-round school, and we may be headed that way. I love the start of school. Not because it gets the kids off my back, though. After all, they’ve been in a day camp all summer, so there isn’t much difference, except that I don’t have to monitor homework. No, I love the start of school for a number of reasons:

  • The end of the disgusting hot, muggy, inhumane summer is just around the corner.
  • Fall – fall is nearly here! Red and orange leaves! Nippy air! Halloween! Fall festivals!
  • The stores are full of school supplies, and I love school supplies. I like to see the wide variety of notebooks and pens. I like the smell of paper and pencils. These are the tools of learning, fresh and unused, full of potential. I want to breathe deeply among the binders and pencil-top erasers.
  • I can dress the girls in cute new clothes. I love shopping with them – so much easier than shopping for myself. The clothes in my section are dull and shapeless, boring and frumpy. Their clothes are bright, cheerful and playful. I dread the day the girls enter their teens and start fussing over clothes.
  • I love the structure of school. Now when I get home there is a regular order to the evening – school work, dinner, chores, bed-time. Well, it’s supposed to work like that.
  • The change in routine fills my head with impossible goals. I’ll get more organized – all I need is a hole punch, a binder, and $200 dollars worth of storage boxes. I’ll start that exercise program. I’ll cook more. I’ll finally put all our photos in albums. We’ll paint the house! We’ll take daytrips every weekend and spend more time at art galleries and theaters. I’ll reduce our grocery bill by clipping coupons! None of this will happen, but the ideas are bright and shiny and exhilarating.

Recently I was flipping through the latest Woman’s Day. Yeah, I get Woman’s Day. I’m a bit sheepish about it because it seems somehow – I don’t know – déclassé. If Real Simple is Talbots, then Woman’s Day is Wal-Mart. But this is what I do with our few skymiles – get magazines I would never pay for. Anyway, I ran across an article by Jennifer Weiner that expressed my feelings about fall so perfectly. You can read it here: It’s very short. Everything in Woman’s Day is short. Do any magazines let articles go on for pages anymore? Maybe the New Yorker. I could never finish anything in there. Yeah, if I had to choose between the New Yorker and Woman’s Day, I would definitely choose the latter. The New Yorker doesn’t have recipes that I can clip and ignore.

I plan to recap our LA vacation in the next post, because it was so much fun. Now, if I could only start that vacation scrapbook…


  1. At the beginning of every school year, when the confinement of the hellish summer was gone and the leaves on the trees were just beginning to turn, I spent more time outside in the crisp new air than I did inside where my responsibilities were. It was like everything (the atmosphere, colors, impending festival of the dead, etc.) were conspiring against me, and instead of new beginnings, all I was left with was the same selfish mindset I had during the summer: I can do anything I want and get away with it. Ha! Autumn is a trickster, and yet I love it.

    Anyway, I'm glad you had fun on your vacation, BA. I hope the school year is a new beginning for you!

  2. I'm glad to discover that someone else feels the same way about pencils and paper that I do - I love stationary shops and catalogues.