Thursday, August 18, 2011

You know you're a writer when...

You go back-to-school shopping and your kids get embarrassed because you're salivating over all the lovely Uniball gels and fine-tipped retractable Sharpies and smooth green Ticonderogas...

You know those 3-ring binders students zip up and throw over their shoulders like a book bag? These lovely school essentials now come with insurance. Yep, for a mere five bucks, if your binder breaks at any time in 2 years, you can return to your local Office Depot for a free replacement. You better believe I jumped all over that offer. Last year alone I bought three of those suckers -- for just one child. Kaching!

The crickets are chirping. Their song has replace that of the cicadas and tree frogs. Early morning, when I wake to write, a rogue cricket chirps from the basement. This is how I mark the wane of summer -- cricket song.

The end of summer means the beginning of school. This summer felt interminable. I'll be happy when that yellow bus turns the corner in another week. I think the kids will be too. A few days ago, after a particularly nasty spat of sibling sparring, I asked them, "Why do you fight so much?" My eldest sighed. "Mom," he said. "Summer is just like a long weekend. A really long weekend. We get bored, so we fight. Plus, it's fun."

This fall semester will find me on both sides of the desk. I teach a graduate level health policy class, a lot of fun and a chance to engage with the student seminar-style. But I'm also going to be a student myself, starting course-work for a Masters of Art in Creative Writing. I'm excited, I'm petrified, but mostly I'm wondering how the hell I'm going to keep all my balls in the air.

What are YOU looking forward to as summer winds down? Peace...


  1. Lovely to hear your thoughts here. For me this oh so long summer has been a great way of establishing some of the routines that sometimes get lost during school time, sitting down together properly, the kids taking more responsibility for helping out, all of us working together as a family. This September is a special one for me as my youngest is starting preschool, so after almost eleven years I will have a couple of silent hours in the morning in which to pursue writing as more of a career if possible and get some projects out the door. It feels like a new era. All the best to you with your Masters and family!

  2. I really enjoyed reading this post. My young one returned to school a couple weeks ago, so our summer is over. Although I'd love to have her at home with me all the time, I know this is not possible. Like in the previous comment what I do like about the return to school is the return to a schedule, and some quiet during the day.

  3. I loved shopping for back to school supplies when I was a kid. I still do, even if they aren't for me any more.

    You will have a busy autumn. Busy, but very fulfilling. All the best for your endeavours.

  4. I love my kid, I really do, but the end of summer and him back to school means I can get more writing done. Especially in the afternoon.

  5. Yes, I do get excited buying school supplies too! I loved this line: "This is how I mark the wane of summer -- cricket song." Beautiful.

    I am actually in the middle of moving, while we add on to our house. I am looking forward to staying in a bigger place for awhile, since it has been five of us in a two-bedroom, one bath. I am also looking forward to my youngest children (twins - 5yr.) starting kindergarten, which will be in walking distance = happy mom.
    Good luck with your masters. I've thought a lot about going back for that exact degree.

  6. I LIVE FOR SCHOOL SUPPLIES ... I remember getting butterflies being nervous and excited all at once. thanks for reminding me, Linda... peace!

  7. It has been a very long summer, as I am sure all of you who are parents recognize. September always feels bittersweet, a relief and release and a sadness the warm, lazy days have trickled past.

    Alison and Erin, a special hug to you both. The first day of school -- a big deal for the child, more so for the mom. Peace...