Resolve at work melted in the heat of the past three days. Yesterday a breeze blew in as a mixed blessing; the sweat evaporated from your skin leaving a cooler feeling, but mostly you felt the world had been transformed into some sort of giant blow dryer. The dog days of summer have finally arrived.
Today, freshman reported for class at my son's high school. Tomorrow his senior year officially begins. It seems too soon.
Signs adequately foreshadowed the new academic year. School supplies replaced those for lawn and garden in the stores, and ads on the television blasted new clothes, computers, and dorm gear at us between innings. Mailings with the school's return address began arriving two weeks ago. I have written my last checks for the yearbook and athletic participation. Tim may even have his summer reading assignments completed. Maybe.
Omaha endured a prolonged spring this year, and summer only recently arrived for real. I am not quite ready for a new season yet.
Usually autumn gets me into high gear. I love crisp fall days and colorful leaves. New books promise answers to questions not yet formulated. New school supplies and equipment hint of new skills that can be learned. New fashions reach the stores.
Fall, not blizzardy January, really brings a new year, a chance for change and renewal.
Even though my own work goes on year-round, I still get that feeling like I just bought a new box of crayons, the Crayola 64-pack with the built-in sharpener. There they sit, lined up with perfect tips arrayed in spectral order- how lovely! I know their beauty will not last, just as I know that my drawing skills will not live up to the capacity of those nontoxic waxy sticks of color.
What will happen next year when I no longer have a child in school? Oh, we will have packed up Tim's belongings and dumped him at a University to be determined, but it will not be the same "back-to-school" as experienced for the past 18 years. No photo on the first day. No dinner out the first night. Will my soul still long to smell a box of crayons?
I guess I will find out next year.