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August is the caution light to craziness

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[2]By Kelli Warner,
KMTR-TV [3]Morning News anchor, Springfield

If June is the inaugural kick-off to summer, and July is the gooey center, then August is the downhill slide towards the finale—the last, few leisurely weeks until the new school year begins in September.

For me?  I feel like August is a bright yellow caution barrier, complete with flashing lights, signaling: “Craziness ahead!” Let me explain why.  In the last week, I’ve received an email from my kids’ schools about making sure they have their immunizations up to date in time for registration.  I got the postcard reminder in the mail to not miss the pre-scheduled eye exams.  Sign-ups are already underway for fall soccer.

We’ve been barraged for weeks now by back-to-school sales. (That was, of course, after all those “Christmas in July” sales)  And to top it off–my husband, who works for a large grocery retailer, just informed me that their shipment of Halloween candy will be here by the end of the month.  No kidding.

It’s all coming at us so soon.   In many ways, August is clearly the pre-cursor to what will again be a busy end to 2010.  Soon, our schedules will be chocked full of pick-ups, drop-offs, practices, games and all those other errands squished in between, leading Mom’s taxi to log more miles than the November election candidates.

I’m not complaining.  It’s simply what we do every year.  I often imagine that if you looked up “Working American Family” in the encyclopedia these days (online because it saves you time), what you’d find is a picture of a puff of exhaust.  That’s because the family minivan is on the run.

The summer brings freedom that we get to enjoy for two short months.  The kids get to stay up later, sleep in, and make daily requests to have their friends come over.   Things are definitely more relaxed.  The fall, on the other hand, tends to bring back the structure, and believe me; we need that in order to maneuver through the next nine months of the new school year.

I do like the structure.  But I’ll miss the freedom.  I guess that’s what makes us appreciate the summer and look forward to it every year.

So while the kids are still splashing in the pool, playing with friends and watching cartoons, Mom is doing the needed legwork behind the scenes.

Look out, August.  Your days are numbered.

September is barreling toward us.

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