School is back in session. Not having kids at home anymore, it doesn't touch my world the way it used to. But I won't soon forget shopping until I thought I'd hide under a rounder (or have to rob a bank to pay for everything), blocking off hours and hours in my calendar and leaving work (after asking a crotchety boss) only stand in one snaking registration line after another to enroll my three kids.
And I don't care how much money you have, you actually can't ever have enough when it comes to registration. On registration day, you register for EVERYTHING -- would class pictures (way more expensive if you're "student" as the teachers call them, is a senior), class parties, uniforms, all sports activities, student body things, parking permits (if you're lucky enough to get one), charitable donations. I'm not sure,but I think there's a charge for breathing campus air. And those are only the things my foggy mind can recall.
Then, once they've emptied your checking and bank accounts, you're shamed into volunteering or making cupcakes which certainly you have time to bake in order to support something else the school needs, and to which you've probably already given a financial donation. The list was endless and from what I hear, it still is, only worse--which I can't imagine.
We always began school right after Labor Day. Labor Day was the end-of-summer demarcation, the line in the Cape Cod sand, if you will, that a new chapter of life was about to begin.
That said, Mother Nature routinely tricked us with fabulous Indian Summers which without fail began the first day of school when all of us kids arrived to school sporting our fall clothes. Heavy woolen fabrics, quilted material, winter pants and heavy jackets. Ugh!
We'd swelter and sweat and break out in heat rashes if we didn't fall flat over from scorching sun and enclosed classrooms without, yes, without air conditioning. "Offer it up," was Sister Mary Laura's best advice. She whose hands and red face were the visible part of her, the rest hidden the yards of fabric that made up her black and white habit.
Today, I still feel that After Labor Day is when I get serious about this next chapter of my life. Who can be serious about life when everyone's wearing shorts and tank tops? Or two piece bathing suits? Or swimming? (well, I don't wear those things because I'd scare people but I see them on others)
"Serious" comes with the cold weather, when you're forced to pull yourself inward and get crackin'! Or something like that. When a hint of fall rolls around, you can smell it in the air--crushed leaves, decay, the slight chill in the air, then I'll get serious. Fortunately here in California, that's a bit away yet...