Every year of my adult life the middle of August is filled with days of chaos. My past included a few years of coaching and the preseason starts two weeks before Labor Day. Preseason practices entail multiple workout sessions each day, usually morning and evening, and when my sons played football that sometimes meant ‘three-a-days.’
These days I’m no longer involved in coaching and I only have one child playing a sport this year but there’s still enough chaos and disruption to go around. For the past seven years August has also meant the packing up and sending off of a child to college. For those of you who haven’t gone through that yet, don’t worry about crying when they leave. You cry trying to get everything together they need to live on their own. Teenagers obviously think shampoo just appears in the shower when you need it let alone something as mundane as toilet paper. They also have to learn, this means you have to do it, things take up less room when packed neatly. All this involves numerous trips to the store to get all the things they don’t think they’ll need but you know they will. It also includes buying a lot of things you hope they’ll use but they probably won’t. Things like Lysol kitchen and bathroom wipes, shower cleaners and fabric softeners.
Beyond the trips running the one athlete I have still competing are the three inservice days I must attend before actual school starts. And hanging over all the busy, not entirely unpleasant hustle, is the dread of another year of school.
School means the end of sleeping in an extra hour, staying up as late as I wish when the writing bug keeps me at the keyboard and the impossibility of a cup of coffee whenever I want it. It means my writing hours have been cut into a fraction of what they were during the summer months. It means fewer website and blog updates. Every year I dread August more than the one before. Every year I wish I could leave teaching behind and work full time on my writing. But this year is not the year.