I knew this time of year would overwhelm me. Back to school, back to fall, back to the wall. Kindergarten, second grade, the Special Ed Parents Advisory Council, PTO liaising (yeah, liaising, whatever), the meetings, the welcome speeches, the welcome picnics, the ice cream socials, the frantic shopping for that one last thing I forgot (at least four times), the social stories, the new teachers, the new classrooms, the new friends, the new aide, the new visibility, the new uncertainty, the new angst. Oh the angst. My dear friend angst with her spiffy new elementary school make over.
Did I ever tell you that I start planning for Halloween in August? Yup, August. Every year since Katie was born I have started trolling for costume ideas before the start of school. No, I’m not that hyper-organized, scary efficient mom. Not even a little. I know that mom and she scares the cr@p out of me. No, I’m the mom who knows her limitations. I’m the mom who knows full well that she will be a melting puddle of useless unstuffed Mama-ness if she has to start scrambling in October.
October, when the leaves are turning and the apples are ready for picking and the glorious smell of wood smoke scents the air. (Unless you’re out in California and then wood smoke in the fall is anything but glorious and I mean no offense by mentioning it).
October, when meetings ramp up, when my business is at its busiest, when everyone everywhere seems to come out of the woodwork needing – heck demanding - a piece of my time. Yeah, that October.
So, since my kids never, ever want to be something simple .. oh no, no witches or kitty cats here .. it is a matter of self preservation to start early. OK, really, really early.
Last year Katie decided she wanted to be a girl in a bed. What, this surprises you? So I cut and painted the back of a refrigerator box (OK, blatant lie – Luau totally did the painting, but I bought the paint, damn it), bought a piece of cheap quilted fabric, a travel pillow, a whole bunch of shoe laces (did I mention that I don’t sew?), super cute hot pink footie pajamas and Mama MacGyver went to work. A couple of hair bows and a teddy bear later .. voila, one girl in a bed.
Not to be outdone, my sweet Brooke decided that she wanted to be JoJo the Clown. Now, you have to understand how big it is that Brooke wanted to be something. And that she told me what it was. You get that, don’t you? So, never mind the fact that she chose a somewhat obscure Disney character that Michael Eisner and his pals have all but forgotten about. Pay no attention to the fact that the JoJo costume that had been available previously had long since been discontinued. Not relevant. Mama MacGyver turned into Mama Nancy Drew and followed the trail of clues to a woman in Canada who had the darn thing,
So now you know why I start in August.
This year, Katie decided she wanted to be an elephant. Judge me if you will, but I already told you I don’t sew and if you’re paying attention, you might also notice that I am already burning the candle at both ends as it is, so I ordered it. From Canada. What’s up with the Canadians and their costumes? Let’s not question it. God bless our neighbors to the north!
Again, Brooke has kept right up in the ‘picking something random that is not readily available to anyone on the planet’ game. She has decided she wants to be Ming Ming the Duckling from the Wonder Pets. Now Ming Ming is apparently somewhat more popular than one might think at first glance. WITH KIDS UNDER THE AGE OF THREE. The largest size this costume comes in is 2-3T. She’s little, but she ain’t that little. So I’m still trying to figure out how to rig this one. Hullo? A little help here? Oh Canada?
Anyway, back to the point that I abandoned long ago. And I must say that if you’re still with me, well, you’re a true friend. I probably wouldn’t have had the patience to get this far.
Point was and is that I am overloaded. And that I knew I’d be overloaded come this time of year. It ain’t rocket science.
So last year, in anticipation of said overload, I booked a vacation. It starts tomorrow. I haven’t begun to get us ready. I have a social story to write (and read), clothes to find and organize and pack. I have lists to write, obscure items to track down, a calendar to draw, sleep to miss. There are ferry schedules to check, tickets to find and pack and my head to retrieve from somewhere across the room.
But I am excited. I am excited to go back to Nantucket and to write some new history. I am excited that if Brooke stumbles, I’ve got some new tools in my toolbox this year. Maybe I can make it just a little easier. I’m excited to make new memories. I think I’m even ready to confront that damn tree.
I haven’t yet decided whether or not I’ll be going radio silent for the week. In part because I don’t know if we have wifi or not. In part because I don’t know if it would do me good to go without this little world of ours for a week or if I need it too much to want to try.
We’ll see, my friends. Check in. I may stop by. But if not, have a wonderful week!