As I write this September post, August still surrounds me—a humming time. Cicadas drone during the day; katydids chirr after dark. And in the morning, if I move very quietly outside by the Rose-of-Sharons and hollyhocks, a hummingbird will eventually whip past me to dive in and out of the flowers for their nectar, treading air with rapid wings that make a wonderful whir.
My kids’ voices join the late-summer chorus, an under-the-breath murmuring as they add narratives to their play. In the basement, tense Star Wars crises accompany the Lego building. In the living room, plastic ponies, colorful and sweet-faced, argue viciously, make up, then go on journeys to the ocean of the couch or the desert of the coffee table.
But my house will sound empty soon.
School is around the corner. My kids dread it, the sitting for hours, the tests, tests, tests—math tests, social studies exams, spelling quizzes, the horrible looming specter of the state assessments, and the daily trials that come with human interactions. And then there’s homework, that hard-consonant-ending word, punitive and harsh. Oh, how they despise all homework—or think they do. [Read more…]