August is my favorite month. Not because the weather is beautiful, or because my family and I can enjoy camping in the wilds of Alaska. No, August embraces a more mystical and near religious experience. The beginning of school.
The excitement starts around the first of the month with school registration. I’m thrilled by this for a couple of reasons. First, the fact that both my children have successfully maneuvered through another year and will advance to the next grade is a reason for great celebration.
The second reason I love school registration is that it’s a harbinger of quiet days filled only with the tapping of my keyboard. Don’t get me wrong, I love summer and bonding with my kids. It’s not as if I drag my children out of bed on registration day, bleary-eyed, throw them in the car, and park my lawn chair at the school’s front door like I’m buying tickets to a Lady Gaga concert. That thought has hardly ever crossed my mind. It’s the anticipation that in two weeks the fruit of my loins will again spend their days learning, laughing, and chattering to somebody other than me.
So, as you might have guessed, my favorite day of the year is the first day of school. Crisp new outfits that haven’t been stained, theirs not mine. Shiny backpacks that haven’t been dragged across the ground and befouled by God knows what. The friendly face of the bus driver who is just beginning her stint with my children. I want to feel sorry for her, but all I can feel is gratitude.
Goodbye, my offspring. Go learn and grow for six to seven hours, Monday through Friday. Don’t worry about me. And as I stand on the side of the road waving madly at the blank faces of the children, the rumbling diesel bus spits exhaust fumes in my face and the tension eases from my shoulders.
My vacation time starts now. For the next nine months I’ll be able to take my daily brainstorming walk without stopping to look at a squished worm, or yelling twelve times, “Get out of the middle of the road. What, have you been pithed?” I won’t feel guilty that I haven’t showered, cleaned the house, or even seen another human all day. I will languish in the copious hours of crafting my Bringer and the Bane series or maybe chat with a writer friend sans the dulcet tones of the All Girl Smack-Down screeching from the living room.
The only rule is that at three o’clock the writer must morph back into mom. I’ll turn off my computer and the lamp in my office, signaling me that my writing day has ended. It releases me from the bonds of my story and draws me back to reality, back to the people who want nothing more from me than all my attention. I can do that because I know in twelve hours I’ll be slapping their happy little butts back on the bus and embracing another glorious day of writing.
To comment on Boone Brux’s blog please click here.