Cumbersome and Tumultuous

“… pay attention to areas in your body that are harboring tension…”  Those words are from a morning meditation.

As much as I can ground my physical limbs and body parts to the present, my brain feels like twisted metal set in the future one minute and the past the next.  The movement of flipping randomly between those two times is heavy and grating.  Brainwaves haven’t rested in the here and now for weeks. They are like a set of 500 Christmas lights thoroughly entwined and wrapped around themselves -- or a rat’s nest at the end of my curls that can only be undone by breaking the knot off and flicking it away.

This year, the transition from summer to fall has been intense.  For my sons, letting go of the unplanned summer days and starting the school year is much the same as last year – yet this year’s first day of school is an entrée to change.  Will started his junior year in high school; the one where sights are set on the future more than the present.  Liam started his last year of middle school; every milestone and event throughout the school year will be a “last.”

Will completed the classroom portion of Driver’s Ed in August.  In April, he will be driving to school and to gymnastics – and to the grocery store to pick up milk and bread.  When he does his physical driving test, we will need to pay to use the driving school’s car, for the car he takes the test in needs to have an emergency brake between the front seats – or a brake on the passenger side floor.  For the safety of the person administering the driving test.

I want a powerful brake.  I find myself in a rocket that is breaking sound barriers.  There is no brake pedal to push.  There is no emergency break to pull and slow time.  As the school blues settled in, I’ve been with the boys in spirit.  Then, on the first day of school, something switched.  Yes, much is mysteriously looming, and I don’t have a brake, but the uncertainty of what that first day of school holds is now behind us.  We have begun to conquer the unknown.  We can’t put the brakes on the year as it rolls along, but we can embrace every day and squeeze the good stuff out.

When I picked up Will from school the first day, I shared my thoughts.  I said that despite all that his big, fat junior year holds, he’s an upperclassmen – that’s a cool milestone.  Then I asked him, “So, what was the highlight of your day?” 

“Well, my buddies and I found a pipe behind a wall that leads to a grate, a drain, in the sidewalk.  And we figured out if we talk into the pipe, our voice comes out the drain!  It’s going to be a great prank!” Ah, yes, an upperclassman prank! A gem for the day.

I asked the same of Liam:  What was the highlight? 

“The new teacher understands kids!  We can write in pen or pencil or type.  And she’s not going to assign homework on Thursdays and expect us to remember to hand it in on Tuesdays.” A second gem.

With the school days proceeding one by one, today, I return to the routine of writing a complete thought.  And, I am free to chase down my manuscript.  

If you live in the U.S., you probably remember “School House Rock.”  The words and music from this little ditty, “I’m just a bill,” has become my theme song… 

…where Bill = Manuscript;

Committee = Publishing company;

And so on, until Law = Book this fall.

Fully caffeinated, I am working in the library today.