Here we are again. Last night ChicagoNow’s editor presented us with a Blogapalooz topic: “Write about the best thing in Chicago during the fall.”
There’s only rule on these Blogapalooz topics: write a post in one hour or less. Of course, I’m late again in responding to the writing challenge. The excuse I have this time is that I was out late at the car dealer while my spouse was finalizing the purchase on a brand new car. Stay tuned for a later post on that experience.
Since there are no Blogapalooz rules, I’m taking it upon myself to be so bold as to change the topic itself: “Write about the WORST thing in Chicago during the fall.”
FALL IS UPON US
You see, I can become extra ornery at this time of the year. It’s not the falling leaves and cooler weather appearing. I love the autumn season. The air is crisp and cool breezes waft through the windows at night, making for great sleeping weather.
It’s not even the pumpkin-saturated foodstuffs that come along that bother me. Although it would be nice to hold off on the ads until September is officially on the books.
Nope, it’s the back-to-school stuff that is irksome. When my daughter was in grade school, I resented that time of the year. It meant our lazy summer evenings were over. Like the kids, I enjoyed the slowness of the season without the demands of early morning classes hanging over our heads.
THE DRUDGERY BEGINS
It was nice spending an evening taking a walk around the Beverly neighborhood, rather than sitting at our dining room table watching her take on algebra. With 11 hours spent away from home, commuting on a train and sitting in an office, the last thing I wanted to do was rush home, make dinner and assist with a book report on Wuthering Heights.
In between running out for more notebook paper (which was always on low supply), we made numerous late-evening trips to the store for poster-board for science projects.
Then there were basketball games squeezed in at 8:00 p.m., which meant we got home after 10:30, leaving the two of us even grouchier for late-night ablutions.
The morning rush came too soon. My daughter would finally drag herself out of a warm bed when I resorted to pounding the broom handle on the dining room ceiling, – her bedroom directly overhead.
The doorbell rang each morning, promptly at 7:01 when the neighbor girl was dropped off by her mom and left in my charge before she and my daughter head off to school.
I prepared breakfast for the girls while continuously hiding the candy bowl from my friend’s daughter. As I rushed up the stairs for the fourth time that morning, I caught her tying my living room curtains into a knot. Charming.
Finally, my 5-minute drive to the train station was consistently slowed down by the patrol guards making me stop for the students in the crosswalk.
Darn schoolchildren. Get outta my way! I got places to go!
It never occurred to me to allow an extra two minutes into my driving time. It’s all about me.
IT’S BACK TO SCHOOL TIME AGAIN
I see lovable pics of friends’ kids on Facebook. They are posed with creative props indicating age, grade, likes and dislikes. Adorable.
Alas, I never was organized enough to even take a picture of my own girl on our front porch. In all honesty, she and I were too sluggish and impatient to contemplate taking a commemorative photo. Bad mommy.
And that’s how my favorite season also brings out the worst in me.
I sure do miss those days.
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