Monday, August 06, 2012

Why I Love August

It's the month in which I was born. When I see it approaching on the calendar, when I think about August, I have a feeling like coming home--like the last turn of a long drive, when you're on your own street.

It's the back-to-school month. I tried to hide it, because it wasn't cool, but I loved school. I was good at it, too--much better at school than I am at Life. I love school supplies. I love fall clothes. I love fall, and the fun of planning for fall when it's hot as blazes outside. I loved the August issue of "Seventeen," Bible-thick and full of promise: ads for clothes and shoes (lots of tartan and loafers and blazers and boots) and articles about organization. Reading about getting organized is even more fun than actually getting organized.

It's the month of my father's birthday and my grandfather's birthday, so my grandmother used to have one big Sunday dinner on the screen porch for all of us, and it was such a big celebration.

It's the month of my first daughter's birthday.

It's usually the best beach weather of the summer, but also the month of some big waves as hurricane season begins.

The Nineteenth Amendment became law on August 26, 1920, and my mother watched a commemorative parade out the window of her hospital room fifty years later. She told me when I was growing up that she never concerned herself much with feminism until that day, when she saw the parade and thought about her brand-new daughter and what she wanted her life to be like.


Jim said...

I never knew that I loved school until I got older. My kids now openly and without shame declare their love of school.

The older one looks forward to August, so she can find out who her teacher is and call all her friends to compare results. No more getting the news in your last report card like we did.

I think the best beach weather could be in early September.

MomVee said...

True--but it's a different kind of good weather. September has glassy seas (weird, because hurricane season continues...) and gentler suns. It's so nice it's almost unreal, whereas August is classic over-the-top summer. Plus, most of September at the beach has a tree-falling-in-the-forest quality--is it really the best weather if you're not there to enjoy it? ;)

Jay said...

I'm always shocked when I'm reminded that you're ten years younger than I am.

I always loved school, and since I was completely and evidently uncool, I never bothered to pretend otherwise. My daughter is cool and does not love school, but she does love office supplies, new clothes, and organizing, so we both enjoy this time of year.

My beloved grandmother was a teenager when the 19th Amendment was passed, and I remember the day she told me about the Suffragette Parades - the original ones. I was shaken to my core by the visceral realization that the woman sitting with me - who never seemed "old" to me - could clearly remember a time when women couldn't vote. I have never missed an election. To do so would be, in some way, to betray her.