Remember when you were a kid, and summer break lasted approximately 2.9 million years, and the whole thing was a giant sun-drenched swath of swimming, sleeping in, doing no homework, and eating popsicles?
And remember how, now that you're an adult and have kids, or work with kids, or are related to kids, or occasionally see a kid on the street, summer break still lasts approximately 2.9 million years? And since you are peri-menopausal, that giant sun-drenched, face-melting, kid-filled swath of 100-degree heat drives you at a mad gallop toward the crisp air, falling leaves, gingerbread, and school-uniform-plaid of Autumn?
Fall is the season when finally, finally I can throw away all those bags of grape popsicles in my freezer — the victims of grape popsicle prejudice, poor little things. (Popsicle companies totally know kids love the more expensive root beer and cherry flavored treats best, so they put three of them into a bag of one hundred grapesicles, thereby forcing delirious, face-melted moms all over America to buy more bags in order to quell their children's root beer/cherry-lust. It's a coup, I tell you.)
Fall, quite frankly, is the season when mothers the world-over secretly dance in the streets because the popsicles are gone, the house is emptying, and their kids are going back to school.
Look, I love my kids. You love my kids. I mean your kids. They came out of our bodies (a good portion of us), gave us stretch marks, influenced us to give up careers — or at least alter them — and made us forage through parts of our brain that would never have seen the light of day otherwise. They challenge us, bend us, shock us, amaze us, warm us, enliven us, and weird us out. What in the world would we do without them?
Just ask any mom who has sent her kid back to school after a long, hot summer. She'll tell you what in the world we do without them.
We run errands in the quiet of our own company. Maybe listen to a little Christmas music in September if we feel like it. Or some ABBA. We get the whole house cleaned in one afternoon without having to access our Nag-i-fier even once. We think in complete sentences, actually getting to the ends of them! We take a moment at lunch to read a book, get a degree, go to work without worrying about who has tied whom to what and lit what on fire at home, grabbed lunch with some gal-pals we haven't seen in ages, run to the gym, plan our meals for the entire month, and finish writing the novel we've been working on. We might even write a letter to someone. A real one! On paper and everything!
And then. We who no longer have our kids charging around us at the end of summer, well, we . . . we . . .
Die of boredom.
How long does it take for a hundred and eighty days to go by?