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Monday, August 09, 2004

Signs that summer’s ending

• The Hall of Fame football game kicks off Monday Night Football season tonight. And there’s talk in the house of how the beloved Wolverines (don’t ask) will fare this season.

• Camps are finished and we’ve passed that precious week or two with no sporting commitments. Boys are naturally hyper, a state that is intensified when left with no routine and only their imaginations to occupy their time. They do much better when following a routine, a habit that follows them into manhood, so we’re always thankful when routine returns.

• We’ve amassed a rather spectacular collection of new hardware in the form of trophies. Time to build another trophy shelf in the basement. Ryan’s 3-on-3 hoops team won the championship; Patrick’s baseball team won the tournament and league championships. Michael got trophies as the team’s able-bodied batboy (though his role was more akin to Slider).

• CYO tackle football practice begins tonight. Through the end of October, we are now committed to this seven-day-a-week activity. In preparation for securing his starting running back position, Ryan has been running and doing wind sprints with Danny and I. Today’s task is to carve out a spot in his locker for the influx of equipment.

• There are certain movies that inspire young boys and we’ve moved on to “Remember the Titans,” which Michael has watched about 25 times in the past two weeks while running back and forth through the family room, kitchen and dining room with a football tucked under his arm. His only opponent is the dog. She seems okay playing the role of defensive lineman and has learned to weave when Michael throws an arm her way. The only blocker able to stop him is the refrigerator door.

• For all my good intentions at the beginning of every growing season, my perennial garden once again resembles a jungle of towering weeds. I have managed to water my many flowerpots (ably assisted by the rainy summer weather) and so the yard looks as if someone cares. The lawn is impeccable as always because Danny never seems to lose his passion for mowing.

• Danny and I have taken to "walking the grounds" and making grand plans we can't afford for improving the house.

• The boys are losing interest in going to the pool, opting instead to play some rather ferocious games of touch football in the yard.

• The stacks of assorted baseball pants, socks, baseball hats, beach towels, goggles and T-shirts belonging to friends is beginning to dwindle as these items slowly find their proper owners.

• I have an overwhelming need to organize things—closets, dressers, kitchen cabinets, the basement. Some people do this in the spring, but I prefer fall cleaning to spring cleaning. Tackled the refrigerator yesterday. Best time to do it is when it’s empty.

• Fall catalogs have arrived and I’ve already marked the things I’d love to buy but probably never will because the boys also are clamoring for new sneakers, football cleats, etc. “Are you sure you can’t just jam your foot into those cleats for this week?” May have to sign the house over to Dick’s Sporting Goods.

• I've finished a pile of light summer reading and will turn my attention to meatier works.

• Danny is talking about making his famous chili, a college football classic in our house.

• In spite of themselves, the boys are actually talking about (and, I would venture to say, excited about) school starting, although the older two wanted nothing to do with school supply shopping this year. Came home with bags of supplies yesterday. “Boys, this is your mother’s favorite time of year. She just LOVES buying school supplies,” says Danny, as the ogranizational freak in me begins sorting them into piles.

It’s true. I love the start of school. In fact, fall is my absolute favorite time of year. I always think of September as a time of renewal and it fills me with a sense of invigoration. The dog days of summer are behind us and it’s time to jump into projects again—whether it’s work, the house or school. Makes me want to shout, “Happy New Year!” Or maybe I’m just giddy at the thought of having the house to myself again.

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