I think September is good for us. It's a kind of linchpin on the calendar, holding us together while we slide from summer's heat to winter's cold.
September is a nice transitional month, marking the end of summer agendas and the start of new beginnings, new goals.
The colors of our clothes start to change just as the colors of the leaves change. September is one of those months where we switch gears in our daily routines. It's a time of renewal, adventure and promise -- the first day of school.
Our neighborhood is like a ghost town now. Children seem to have disappeared. No more screams of kids playing stick ball in the street, no more hoots from backyard pools, no more 8-year-olds racing their bikes or attempting crazy stunts on their skateboards. A local deli no longer displays the sign: "Shirts and Shoes, and no Roller Blades." Even the neighborhood dogs seem curiously quiet.
The lemonade stands have disappeared, and now school buses roll through the neighborhood. Down the block, the boys who sold small rocks for 50 cents each during the summer are out of business because they have to stay late at school for soccer practice.
"Oh, joy," a mother of six explains, "it's great: I can paint the bathroom or my toenails in peace."
It used to be when September rolled around and school started that women took the rugs out and beat them, waxed the floors and canned green beans.
Not me. Back then I just talked about doing those things. I didn't suffer from the guilt of being happy because the kids were back in school.
For me, Septembers are different now that my children have grown up and left home. Oh, I might clean out the garage, because the weather is cooler. But I might also decide to go para-sailing or take a course on the birds of the Cayman Islands. Why not?
But I have to confess, when that first leaf falls from the maple tree, I sometimes wish I had September kids in the house once again, so I could ask them at the end of the day, "How was math? Do you like your new teacher? What did you learn today?"
Of course, a grandchild of mine has gone off to nursery school for the first time this year. He was dressed in Mickey Mouse suspenders with matching socks.
There is always a lot to like about September.