The unrelenting heat. The brown grass. The worrisomely low levels of nearby Lake Lewisville.
Plus the memories of late August 2009, when Steve's health was failing, and every day, sometimes every hour, brought a new crisis.
And now it's the eve of the first day of school -- fifth grade for Cooper, first grade for Katie -- and there's just me in the house for them.
This one-parent household business is pretty routine by now, when it comes to routine matters. The three of us can handle meals and chores and shopping and outings and fun pretty well (though I certainly still ask for help when needed).
I don't expect milestones will ever be so routine.
When I tucked Katie into bed tonight and gave her lots of kisses and wished her good first-grade dreams, I silently, irrationally wished that Steve were here to do the same.
Same thoughts when I helped Cooper arrange his pillows and blankets (he requires lots of each) and bent down for a crushing, long-armed hug. Steve should be here to say goodnight to his son on the eve of his first day of the last year of elementary school.
After they were asleep, I cried and cried.
(Another reason to dislike late August -- it's too hot to cry too much! Those tears represent dehydration!)
In a few weeks the temperatures will stop soaring above 100. We'll have moved past the late August doldrums (and past Sept. 7, which I dread more than all of August). This school year will feel routine -- or at least our current version of routine.
|Indian Island, Washington State|