Friends, although we're in the homestretch of summer vacation, the first day of school still seems unimaginably far away. It is with a steely vision and fairly resolved dismay that I anticipate the next 10 days. I love my boys so terribly much, but they need to return to school as much as I want them to head back. They play together so well, and I have loved to watch their relationship evolve over the past couple months, but I cannot be the sole, or primary, means of intellectual stimulation for them anymore. I am tired and really need a greater amount of time for myself. My mind feels sludgy, like it needs to be put through a most challenging mental obstacle course. No math, mind you -I'm not quite that desperate-, but a few Sunday NYTimes crossword puzzles would be great. In the meantime, I've put the kibosh on killing Lego men and have decided that I simply must make a chicken and sausage gumbo. I'm going to get it started now by browning the meats and then cooking up a thick, rich, dark brown roux. Whether I'm self-soothing or "escaping", we'll all be treated to a fabulous dinner tonight!