I’m old enough now that I don’t remember going back to school. I remember it in the high school context, what it was like to wear the new clothes and drive the new 1984 Dodge D100 truck. Those were some days. But the grade school back to school memories elude me. I assume I was shy, because I spent most of my childhood that way. I assume I was nervous, because that’s something I was then as I remain now. I remember one year in particular, when a new boy named Jason joined our class. After school my mom said that I wasn’t going to be the tallest kid in the class anymore, and she said it as if she was happy for that. I wasn’t very tall, really, but Jason was taller and my mom, for some reason, was keen to point that out.
This morning, it’s back to school for my kids. Sixth grade for my son and third grade for my daughter. They aren’t outwardly nervous this morning, as I think I would have been. They are being kind to each other, which I suppose could be interpreted as nervousness. They are on the same side this morning, the side that finds the two of them heading into a new school year as individuals, in separate classes and separates halls in that small school, but still as a team, as brother and sister. They’re still too young to fully understand that it’ll be the two of them against the world for the remainder of their lives; still too young to understand that they’ll always have each others backs, even when they don’t feel like it.
It’s sunny out this morning. It’s sunny because everyone is going back to school and back to work, unlike yesterday when the day started off crummy, with wind and clouds and bouts of rain. It’s sunny today, and it’s going to be 80, too. But that doesn’t mean it doesn’t look like fall, and feel like fall, and that doesn’t mean when I drop my kids off this morning and I haven’t started the long, slow, death march towards the bitter pale of winter. That’s the march we’re on, whether we want to be heading in this direction or not, but no matter what inevitability lies ahead, today, it might feel like fall, but it’s still summer.
The Twitter was full of nonsense yesterday. Not leaked celebrity photo nonsense, because that was the day before, but nonsense about the end of summer. Bobby Flay said that summer is now over, and he’s looking forward to pumpkins and sweaters. Really, Bobby? There are few things I like better than fall, but on that short list, summer is one of them. I can’t tell you that I dislike the thought of sweaters and pumpkins, because I own a closet full of one of them and a small patch of the others, but that’s why God made October and November. September is as much for pumpkins as November is for Christmas. Each month has a rhythm, and September is for boat rides and swimming. There’s a chance that a sweater may be needed on an evening boat ride, so in that, Bobby is correct.