Summer’s End

School starts tomorrow and I am so glad. Today I’ll buy the kids pencils, notebooks, all that crap. I’ll fold laundry. I’ll get organized.

I’m glad the darlings will get off the couch and get back into some semblance of a routine. They know they play their iTouch, Xbox, Café World too much. They can’t help it. My kids feel about their games the way their mom feels about cocktail parties. They’re delicious.

So yesterday I forced them up and out. We biked to church. We pedaled to Riverside Park. In my bike basket was a blanket, the newspaper, their summer reading books — Septembers in Shiraz and The True Confessions of Charlotte Doyle.

We lay under a willow tree; got comfortable.

Then we freaked out. Above us somewhere was a really loud rattling, rattlesnake-like noise. It sounded mechanical and crazy.

I explored the branches looking for a stereo speaker. Could this be some new art installation in the tree? That is honestly what I thought, We’re in someone’s art exhibit. In Manhattan, you cannot escape the street art — the sidewalks, the streets, the parks are teeming with art! I love it. But I wanted to turn the speaker down and read my Sunday New York Times in peace.

Cicada from Creative Commons

But it wasn’t art. It was one frog-sized cicada making all that racket. The kids said they couldn’t concentrate on their books. “That noise is weird. It’s too hot. I want to go home.” So we packed everything back in my bike basket and rode home.

The kids lay on my bed in the one air-conditioned room in this messy apartment, reading their books, eating cookies in my bed, making more mess. They put in the required time with their books (an hour). Then they returned to Farmville and Fallout 3. And later, we all went to a cocktail party/barbecue!

Summer’s winding down. But the cicadas are still making noise.

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