Sunday, August 16, 2015

I don't want to give my children Back to School



We have run away, as we so often do when the butterscotch light of August comes lurking into our windows just past supper time. Run away. Run away! My  M.O. for most of my life. Run away.

First we picked Essie up from Logan airport, where she came in on a flight from London Heathrow-- this kid is beyond lucky spoiled lucky blessed--after having spent an entire month with her cousins England, with a side visit to France and Scotland. The big-sister/little-sister reunion was as sweet as I had imagined, though I am kicking myself for not having the camera ready for the part where Isla leaped into her big sister's arms and wrapped her stretched-in-the-night, almost-10-year-old legs around her waist, nearly knocking her over.


We swept off to a secret lair in East Boston to let Essie recover. Rather than resting, we trolled the streets of East Boston, found the coolest dollar store, ever, spent an absurd amount of time trying on shoes in a Payless Shoe store,




and delighted in the fact that the store mannequins all over the town have, get this, real live bottoms. No skinny, tidy and pert baby buns, but bubble butts, muscle butts, real butts. And thighs too...


Please excuse us our superficiality and possibly even blatant sexism and or discrimination, but this, in our minds and our sore eyes, was a cause for celebration. Aside from the impossibly perky breasts, these mannequins were our people.

We liked the art, and the message of the art, and the parking lots, as well. But the path we followed just as the sun began its nostalgic August descent in the Western sky, led us to one of the most stunning scenes of all: Boston. From a vantage point we'd never seen before.




We woke up early the next morning and drove to catch the ferry to a secret island I've been sworn not to call by name. Why? Maybe because it's the kind of place where neighbors check on each other with telescopes. Where there are no cars and no golf courses or amusement parks or fancy restaurants or boutique shops, or alcohol for sale, or ATM machines. Where, if you time it just right, you might see a beautiful woman with a gray pony tail walking down the hill, past the white picket fence, on one of the few paved streets to the island store, in her apron--perhaps to get some butter, sugar, or flour, as if the day was any other day and her town was any other town, surrounded on all sides by the Atlantic ocean.

Sorry, I don't have a picture of that woman. But I do have these...














And so, from a distance, back to school continues to beckon. You can smell it. You can taste it in the salty ocean spray. You can feel the slight tension, anxiety, the sense of dwindling magic time, the end of something that cannot be contained, on the breeze.

Well, maybe I'm projecting. Just a little bit.