I have a friend who can tell when school starts by how many of her kids get sick. If somebody throws up, mark your calendars for cafeteria duty because school is in session.
My kids are older now, but there are still definite clues that let me know it’s time to obey the speed limit between the flashing yellow signs. I can tell school is in by the vacuum in my wallet. If I try to put a dollar in the bill section and it hits a jet stream that carries it directly to a slow-moving boy dragging $400.00 worth of school books across the kitchen floor toward the back door, classes have started.
My guys go to community college across town. At least I think it’s a college. The way they hit me up for lunch money, I’m beginning to suspect they are supporting the efforts of a five start restaurant. Any day now, I’m expecting to catch one of them sneaking up the back stairs after dark with crème brulee on his breath.
Schedules are different at college. When the kids were in grade school, I could count on at least six hours a day without having to watch a Barney video or share my Girl Scout cookies with anybody except the dog. These days, young people blow in and out of my house at random intervals, changing my easy-listening radio station to brain-twister funk, and killing larger than life video game zombies on my big screen TV. It’s hard to keep up, but I’m not entirely sure all the kids that come through my living room are original family members. In my heart of hearts I believe we upgraded to the Supersized Family Plan when math class let out.
Now I find out that my guys will be done with this semester a month before Christmas. That means I’ll have to spend the time I had budgeted for wringing my hands and begging Santa for travelers checks by restocking the refrigerator and establishing a time-share program for the computer. Things turned ugly enough when I established the “If you’re old enough to shave, you’re too old for Trick-or-Treating” rule. I don’t know if I can stand having a house full of young men who think Peace on Earth means ridding the world of the undead.
Hopefully if I'm good, Santa will spirit me away to the Island of Misfit Toys. Otherwise, it’s going to be a long winter.