I WANT YOU TO ENJOY THE SHIT OUT OF OCTOBER!
I want you to arrange gourds all over your house and make pumpkin muffins and go leaf-peeping and then collect all the red and gold leaves and make charcoal etchings to hang delicately in your foyer and sing “Five Little Pumpkins Sitting On A Gate!” and be full of vim and vigor and take your wretchedly healthy children on exciting excursions and make them home-made Halloween costumes while you all sip hot cocoa with mini-marshmallows by the light of a jack-o-lantern! (Which may or may not be my face as I look longingly in your window.)
This is how the equation works: you are allowed to enjoy the shit out of October because I am taking care of shit in October.
Shit like the Pumpkin Patch Field Trip.
Now you might think that this falls under “Enjoying the Shit Out Of October!” and it would if I hadn’t tacked on the last two words: FIELD TRIP. You see, this is the fifth consecutive year that I have accompanied a herd of overly excited children to a patch of pumpkins – or alternately, a barren field where two hundred pumpkins were dumped – the most special of these years was when I was 39 weeks pregnant and chasing a 3 year-old to the top of a hay bale pyramid. But I just want you sit in peace and drink your latte and listen to your Deepak Chopra pod cast, because apparently, I still have a lot to prove to teachers and parents. I’ll go ahead and clear my schedule and arrange for the backup babysitter (aka grandpa) to relieve the starting babysitter (aka the babysitter), while I watched my son talk animatedly to the caged animals and take a tractor ride, while I talked animatedly to parents and contemplate throwing myself in front of the tractor.
Shit like the Kindergarten Art Bazaar.
Don’t even think about volunteering for that position because yours truly is going to lead our pint-size pack to the higher grounds of wherever it is that I don’t receive emails with the subject “Children’s Art Bazaar!” How did it come to be that I, a woman who believes that the only real craft is fluorescent orange and spelled with a “k,” was made Kindergarten Commander-In-Chief of a major scholastic fundraising effort? First, I was fooled by the word “art” – a colorful firework of a word – and then I was fooled by the word “bazaar” – (1) visions of both a Turkish marketplace AND the Union Square Holiday Bazaar in New York City! (2) I am bizarre! Perfect, non? Except! – and here’s the eye-opener – did you know that children’s art no longer involves stringing noodles or macrame or misshapen glazed coffee mugs? Children’s art must now resemble professional quality work! I’m envisioning the kids working with leather and making iPad cases or welding some sort of unique zen garden statue of the Buddha. Either way, it’ll be done in only 6 short months!
Shit like a staph infection.
Apparently, staph infections don’t just happen to the elderly in poor living conditions, they also happen to 2 yr-olds! One minute it’s all La-Ti-Da-Let’s-Grind-Play-Doh-Into-The-Carpet and the next, two nurses are jabbing two needles into his legs to stop the infection from streaking up his leg even further. And did I mention it’s on his groin too? And that we need to do bleach baths? No, not bubble baths. BLEACH. The stuff you use to deep clean your toilet. And that I need to give him oral antibiotics THREE TIMES A DAY FOR TEN DAYS and that he does not go softly into that good medicine and that it’s like holding a little Hercules who spits and froths and foams everything out? And when it’s all done, he looks at me and drinks his milk and basically says, “Here’s antibiotic in your eye, sister. Cheers.” So the next time your kid gets a splinter and you mourn how quickly and beautifully it heals, just turn that frown upside down and remember that I have handled the staph infection so you don’t have to.
Shit like getting the cars serviced and having the husband gone one third of the month and the pure and crushing exhaustion of life. But hey! I don’t have Ebola! And I’m thankful for my writer friends for giving me a little nudge towards words again.
In this post-season, I am Mrs. October. People here in the Bay area ask me, “Did you see the game last night?” Yeah. I saw the game last night. And the night before last. And the night before last. And each night this month. In a game of endless innings, in an endless season, I’ve kept the focus, converted the majority of my save opportunities into wins and now I want to walk off the mound of October with my signature hand-jive-moon-walk that honors the Big Bravo TV In The Sky.
Because I am the closing pitcher.
And I have closed this shit down so you don’t have to.
Check out my funny friends who have all done things – horrible, hilarious things – so that you don’t have to. Is that taking one for the team, or what?
I Listened To Kidzbop So You Don’t Have To – Midlife Mixtape
I Spent 3 Solid Days Obsessing Over Grout Color So You Don’t Have To– Elizabeth McGuire