Almost-September Blues

I’m walking around this week all teary-eyed, like it’s my children’s last week of life instead of their last week of summer.  I pick Leo up for random hugs and kisses, trying to memorize the smell and feel of his blond head.  Every bit of laughter, every pitter-patter of footsteps I take in with a brink-of-tragedy feeling.

School.  That’s the tragedy.

This is how I feel, even though summer has worn me to the bone.  I’m under-exercised, over-baked, dizzy from the front door swinging open, low on sleep and completely devoid of down time.  I should be looking forward to September!  I’ll finally have time to do things I really want to do!

But what if what I really want to do is make waffles with the kids, spend the morning at a museum, pick huckleberries and make a pie with them in the afternoon, read books in their colossal forts, then find a beach and stay until it’s too dark to find our shovels?

The thing is, I’m good at being a summer mom. In the summer I never question if I’m spending my time in the best way.  I never feel guilty for what I’m not doing.  I’m happy worrying about whether or not the kids are eating too much peanut butter and jelly sandwiches or finding reasons not to vacuum the sand out of the car.

I like those worries.  They’re cute, like puppies that might try to chew up a cushion but can’t actually do any damage.

Once school starts, my worries change.  I worry I won’t be able to finish my novel or write another picture book.  I worry that I don’t know how to be happy just  being. I worry that I should be doing something more. I worry that time is going too fast and I’ve started everything too late.

Peanut butter and jelly?  That’s a problem I am equipped to deal with.  Evaluating my self-worth and dealing with the publishing world?

Kevin and my mom both remind me I always have a hard time when school starts.  I’m blaming writing this year because it’s an easy target.  But truthfully, I’ve had September anxiety as long as I’ve known how to spell the word September.

If you’ve read this blog long enough, you know there will be a post next week about how lovely, beautiful, and magical this thing called school is, to take my children for six hours a day while I can do whatever the bleep I want to do.  I’ll get a pedicure.  I’ll spend hours in my garden.  I’ll finally return that one pair of shoes.  Read a novel in a whole day.  Shave both of my legs.  Browse actual stores instead of just the Internet.  Go for a walk with a good friend.  Maybe do some writing.

So anyway, can we just skip this week and get straight to that one?

Ginger salmon burgers
Fresh vegetables
Blackberry hombre popsicles

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