Saturday morning in late summer

The house is at a steady 72 degrees while outside, the morning air, at 67, is crisp and dances on my bare shoulders.

The farmers market is exciting at 7 a.m. Just opened and teeming with energy but no crowds between the farm stands. Bright tomatoes, baskets of just-picked peaches, every vegetable that grows in Michigan pretty much, available for the having.

Blink and you’ll miss it – in two months, we’ll have just potatoes (of all kinds) and hard squash as we hunker down to winter.

The house is quiet. The kitchen smells like last night’s shrimp, so vinegar stands sentinel in a tiny bowl, hoping to wipe out the stench.

The kids are with their other parents for the weekend and the silence beckons – to write, to work, to loll in bed and watch a movie I’ve seen before, to edit the photos from our summer trips. Time alone quickly evaporates and they’re back into the routine of the school year and that time for me becomes a faint memory.

It’s funny how the calendar marches on. When I was a child, this was the time of year when we bought new school clothes and clothes for the Jewish holidays. We began dance classes and tennis lessons and returned to school night bedtimes.

Mom packed lunches and after school, she’d sit at the kitchen table with us and ask about our day while we ate a just-made snack of nachos (tortilla chips in the toaster oven with shredded cheese and scallions).

Already, I look at the calendar and wince. Tuesday – first day of school, baseball game at night. Wednesday – baseball game. Thursday – bar mitzvah lesson, yoga with the little guy. Friday – appointment after school, Shabbat. It’s too much and not enough all at once.

On the first day of sixth grade, my daughter pauses when I ask if she wants me to wait with her by the door. Of course not, but sort of. So her brother volunteers. Fair enough – then I can take my littlest guy to his door and kick off third-grade by holding his hand all the way in.

The first day of sixth grade – how did we get here? Two middle-schoolers already. My oldest reminds me often that in six years, he’ll be going to college. It goes by so fast.

So today. A consistent 72 degrees inside the house while outside simmers into heat and late afternoon rain. The quiet persists. The quiet prevails. There is a cookbook on my desk to review and blog about (watch for that one soon) and notecards to write, wishing my beloved children a marvelous first day of school.

It’s Saturday. My day of rest. Will I? Only time will tell.


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