August packs a lot of baggage. Four years ago in August a friend was murdered. At the time, we were not on good terms and I was hoping that time would allow for healing. Time ran out. Eight years ago in August my grandmother died. I used to take her dinner every Monday night. I counted on her for inspiration and wisdom.
My ex’s birthday is in August, the day before my parents’ anniversary. That particular confluence of events just smacks me with my failings. My parents have been married to each other for 45 years and I did not make it to 15 years with the father of my children. I can tell myself all the right things about this. I can remember that I am happy now with Brent, and yet it still feels like a failure I should have prevented in some miraculous unknown way.
August is also the month when the kids are still out of school and camp is over. I have a Pollyanna problem in which I imagine them enjoying lots of unstructured time to dream and doodle and read and explore on their own. I have this fantasy that they can be around the house doing whatever it is they want to do and I can still have a life doing what I do. They don’t even nap anymore like they did when they were little and I was with them all day, every day. In August I remember both the incredible joys and deep frustrations of full-time stay-at-home parenthood.
Brent spends his August getting ready for and going to Burning Man. This year, he is doing that on top of getting some serious work done on the new start-up. Both of our days end up so full that I sometimes sit down for dinner with him and wonder where we’ve been all day.
Finally, August is the last gasp before school starts. I always think of September as the new year and have an urge to clean out, tidy up, start fresh. Cleaning out T.R.’s closet is both useful and necessary, but it is not much like writing.
The good news? August is half done and I wrote at least this today.