My youngest began 4th grade today. He's sporting skater clothes and carefully plastered bangs. He spent 10 minutes brushing his teeth, and he was shivering with nervousness, like a Chihuahua, as we walked up to the bus stop. Last year's eager wave good-bye has turned into a self-conscious two-finger assignation. As for me, I just spent a half hour on my pages, got to the proverbial white space, and I'm reflecting on how lucky I am.
Having a school age brood is a milestone for any writer who has had to beg, trade and pay for childcare for her preschoolers. State-mandated public school is perhaps the single biggest perk of being a citizen of the United States of America. Ask any writer mom, during the summer months, what her daily average time with the page is. It'll hover between zero and five minutes. All that turns around on the Wednesday following Labor Day—which should be renamed I think. Given a Hallmark designate, even. National Back-to-Page Day. We parent-writers should be sending one another cards festooned with smiley faces. But then, that would just be another distraction, wouldn't it?
Okay, back to Dorothy's kitchen and the seven people therein.