Felt like Autumn when I got up this morning and I felt guilty.
Because, despite claiming I'd be writing weekly or even regularly, I haven't written a blog all Summer.
In my defense, it has been quite a Summer.
Firstly I got ridiculously sick with sinusitis and the drugs they gave me to combat it, not only didn't cure my sinusitis, but also gave me tendonitis and gum abscesses to boot.
All that wheeziness and shuffling made it impossible to write a blog. OK, so it didn't affect my hands but...
"Dear blog, I feel crap. That is all"
No, you are welcome. For the sake of everybody, I shut up.
Anyway, it has given me new respect for people suffering long term illnesses. Not just the illness itself, not just the relentlessness of it all, but for not being able to tell people EXACTLY how you really feel, whenever they ask. (because it's generally not 'fine').
I don't mean to be a conventional health batterer, but what six weeks of fearsome antibiotics couldn't cure, was suddenly and most spectacularly cleared up by just two sessions of acupuncture. I've taken this as a sign that, in future, maybe I'll head in an alternative direction first and the conventional second. And if neither of those work, I'm going to tell people how I really feel whenever they ask , and pretty soon one of them will be forced to put me out of my misery.
On the up side, because I was too sick to fly we went on family vacations where we could drive. Big Bear - adorable. (Lady Gaga has a house there, which makes me believe she's not really crazy after all)
Las Vegas - where my 10 year old, immediately alarmed, said we had to escape from, because "everyone around us was secretly really unhappy." and to Utah - a place both boys loved, though my youngest informed me was "full of Normans"
There were times of incredible ups, for example I became involved with the Moth - delectable people who tell stories. I saw my friend Kemp's first play being performed. I loved it because it's a great piece, about an amazing moment in history, and because it was brilliant to watch a stage full of real-life black actors doing real, proper acting without any of them having to say "Massa." We are, all of us, infinitely more interesting than our skin says we are.
I went to New York and had a home-cooked meal with my Auntie Susan and Uncle James, and it made me remember how much I miss my Mum and Dad and how grateful I am for what they left behind.
I watched my friends Colette and Diane deal with the loss of a, much loved, husband and son respectively with agonizing practicality and dignity.
And how friends Cherie and Todd proved, that for a baby to become part of a family, it really doesn't matter who gives birth.
This was the year too, when my eldest started 5th grade - the year before middle school - and my youngest Kindergarten. Watching them both go off to school on that first morning, I had to remind myself that 'the end of Summer' was not a metaphor,
My youngest loves homework - it's early days obviously, but he relishes it, saying, "I have a lot to learn Mom. I know a lot already, but I have a lot to go." (sadly one of the things he'll learn, no doubt, is that nobody really loves homework)
My fifth grader has a ton of reports to do this year, one of which is to write four things that happen to him each month and how he felt. It made me think of the Summer when I was 10 and how, weirdly, that doesn't seem so long ago.
We discovered as a family, that: pancakes on a Sunday morning, work. Nobody likes getting up for school. Flies in America are a lot more persistent than those in the UK. Grilled cheese is the same as 'toast and cheese' but 'toast and cheese' sounds better, and the best way to have dinner is Chinese take out in the living room, whilst Doctor Who is on tv.
The Summer is over, but the sun's still high in the sky.