August and Everything*


Backpack with school supplies

When I was a child, the month of August always managed to make me feel just a teeny bit of dread. Of course it was because the first day of the month reminded me that summer, that great time of freedom that had entered my life with a huge bang, was also about to leave with a big bang (Damn. School’s about to start already? Better get to the park, draw that hopscotch square, figure out a way to get a trip to Great America…Funtown…Old Chicago — ANYWHERE!)…and an ignominious whimper (I don’t wanna go to schooLLL. Oh, pleeeeese don’t make me go to schoolll.)

August meant that summer was speeding toward an unfairly quick end and that pretty soon I’d be stuffed back in a classroom with 25 to 30 other hapless individuals — all of us looking around with what-the-hell-happened? expressions on our faces. And of course always with August came the ensuing panic regarding things like whether or not you remembered last year’s math; if the new teacher would be a meanie, and if you could keep up with the new playground politics that some big bully spent the entire summer making up.

August was also one of the many months my mother took stock; it was probably the most important one. She needed to know: Who can fit what…who needs new jeans…how many skirts do I need to buy…who needs new socks and under– oh, never mind everyone gets new socks and underwear…why would you all use up all of the paper playing school when you couldn’t wait to get out of school two months ago…she did what with her crayons?

I am my mother’s daughter, and like her, I will be taking stock this month, but of my life. And I’ll be doing it alfresco at the tea shop with mint chocolate iced tea.


*August and Everything After was the title of the Counting Crows’ awesome debut album. I’m borrowing a sliver of it.

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