I’m way behind on blog posts because I turned in the final draft of my novel, Pretty, yesterday. Which means that I have about eight hundred unanswered emails in my in-box. It also means that I’m going to celebrate by totally ignoring them and watching taped Glee episodes until my eyes bleed.
I’ve been working on either Pretty or Some Girls for about the last six years, so finishing this book is the end of a major life chapter. Ever since Scott and I attended the premiere of Jackass 3D (that’s us in our sexy 3D glasses), I’ve been thinking about the place of rites of passage in our lives. The movie was pretty funny and oddly well-shot and, of course, unbelievably disgusting. Ultimately, I left feeling vaguely yucky, and not just because I had a tub of buttered popcorn for dinner. I think that the Jackass movies appeal to our tribal desire for rites of passage, but they don’t quite hit the spot because they’re all rite and no passage.
The next morning we braved a true rite of passage. We took Tariku to his first day of pre-school. Our current arrangement with the school is that one of us is going to attend with him until he can “contract when the group contracts,” which I think in hippie language means sit still for snack and story time. As you can tell from our attempt at “first day of school” pictures, T is more of an expander than a contractor. If his first day was any indication, I might just be sitting in a wee chair next to him until his middle school graduation. But even though T’s first day at pre-school felt like the longest three hours of my life, I tried to stay present for it because I suspect that this school thing is going to get rolling and soon I’m going to wish I could see more of him.
In terms of life transitions, T starting school is sort of like finishing my second book. I feel a strange combination of loss and relief every time I hear the word “school” come out of T’s mouth. I felt the same way when I sent the Pretty file to my editor.
We go to school again this Thursday and Friday. Stay tuned for more reports from the front line.
For now, I have a babysitter for another twenty minutes. I’m going to watch Glee. Or go hunt an antelope. Or give myself paper cuts on my tongue. Or something.