Monday, August 21 2023

first day of school

page banner

Hey Reader!

Hello? Is this thing on?

Geez, you'd think after writing over a thousand of these, it would be impossible for me to feel rusty - even after taking an eight month hiatus. But I'm not going to stress about it. I missed writing, but I benefited enormously from taking a break. It seemed that even though I went above and beyond in proving that I could hammer out a thousand words per day for as long as I felt like, I also needed to reintroduce a sense of balance in my life.

For example, reading. Shortly after my blog went quiet, I picked up a book, and then another book, and then another book. I enjoyed a great stretch of luck where I kept buying random books on amazon and devouring them in a few short weeks. "Geez, all these books I'm picking up are amazing," I thought. "Why have I never thought about becoming an avid reader?"

Then my book buying luck ran out. I read a few mediocre books, then half of a bad book. Is there anything worse than a bad book? You can watch a bad movie or have a bad meal and waste a day, but sometimes it takes a few weeks or a whole month to realize you're reading a bad book, and you can't get that time back.

I started reading my blog again. Between tasks at work when I needed a mental recharge, I'd open my own blog and read random entries. I did this routinely and discretely. Why was I reading my own journal entries? Is this something to be ashamed of, like I'm one of those people that just like to hear themselves talk (I believe the technical term is a blow-hard)? Funny as it sounds, these entries felt new to me, almost like I was so busy writing that I never took the time to enjoy them. I hated the idea that this steady, passionate stream of information was now frozen in time, and I started to miss it.

I think I also got swept up in Rodney's enthusiasm for his first day of school. He walked down the driveway this morning sporting his favorite Minecraft tanktop, a breezy pair of black athletic shorts, and his crisp new Dude Perfect backpack that still had pleats in the fabric from when it arrived in the mail stuffed in a cardboard box. The back to school vibes abound, and it's exciting. And I have to admit, I got a little excited too, even if my back to school involvement only goes as far as selecting his lunch the night before. Even if my routine wasn't changing as much as Rodney's, I had the urge to start a new chapter too.

What to give the second grader that already seems to have everything? My answer was a peanut butter and nutella sandwich, a sliced up cantelope, smores flavored M and Ms, and some thin cuts from and old piece of pecorino cheese that was hanging out in our fridge. I forgot to buy pickles - I'm grateful for the long shelf life of those hard cheeses.


Marissa did her thing, and staged a quick letterboard photo on our front porch.


Last night, after she dug the letterboard out of the back basement closet, she shot me an angry glance from across the kitchen. She held up the sign, which no longer read FIRST DAY OF 1ST GRADE as the way she left it. The same letters were rearranged into a vulgar and inappropriate message. I had no doubt that it was me, but I also had absolutely no recollection of doing it. Frankly, I was impressed with what I was able to come up with using those letters.

We watched the bus lurch to a halt, and Rodney confidently stepped on board. Meanwhile, his brother Miles filled our bedroom hallway with weepy screams. Miles has grown a little too accustomed to spending every waking moment with Rodney this summer, and maybe his three year old brain just thought that would continue forever. Don't feel too sad for Miles - the weeping and gnashing of teeth abruptly ended when he realized he had undisputed control of the TV remote.

That's what I got today. Have a great Monday, reader.