Monday, August 08, 2005

Dog Days of Summer

August is one of my least favorite times of year, also known in my journaling as "Limbo-land". Limboland to a controlling type such as myself provides me with a single-minded goal: to escape, and return to 'Pretending to have control' land.

Even when I was seven or eight years old, I didn't like August. The wading pool was limp, and the water tepid. The toads and tadpoles and lightening bugs had lost their zing weeks earlier. We'd played tag and ridden bikes one too many times, and everyone was blah-ed out. I'd ring on doorbells and instead of "Mom, can I play with Toni?" I'd get glazed eyes, a lifted lip, and "It's kinda hot out, isn't it?" The hours ticked by as slowly as the brownish grass grew. The days were survived with games of tic tac toe in a cool-ish garage or resorting to the basement to watch my mother iron shirts.

As an adult, and a mother, August has that same flavor, of Sunday evenings, of a large, slightly unpleasant task looming ahead. The back-to-school weeks. Now, I love school supplies as much as the next person, but when forced to spend half my grocery money for the week on highly priced dry erase markers or calculators or sports fees, I'm grouchy. Other than school supplies shopping, our one bright spot, we are soaked with anxiety. We are waiting to hear which teacher child #3 got, and who is in her class. We are wondering if we can find our way around the new school, as we get promoted. We wonder if we'll find our scheduled classes and hate our teacher. Limbo, wondering, waiting. So much of the next nine months depends on how smoothly things go over the next couple of weeks.

You might wonder what this has to do with becoming a published author? Let me clue you in: nothing. I've got the dog days bad. Instead of writing, I'm in limboland, waiting to see if everyone survives the next three weeks. Instead of querying, I am cleaning bedrooms and trying to find last year's protractor. Instead of revising, I am dreaming, of September. That luscious month when my regular writing schedule returns, along with the slam of those school doors, with my precious but chaotic offspring on the other side. In my daydreams, I'm driving away from the school, back home, to my writing nook, to meet an old friend--Toni the writer.



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