For the past two weeks, and for the upcoming week, I have to drive my daughter to summer school. Her scofflaw homework habits finally caught up with her; she failed math.
The catholic school offering summer classes is all the way down on the south shore. For those of you who don’t know staten island, there’s north shore and south shore. Until recently the south shore was mostly white and new jerseyesque; the north shore was ethnically diverse and, at least in the prettier spots, forest hillsesque with puncuations of blight and housing projects.
Over the past few years the south shore has grown more diverse – lots of muslims and asians, some blacks and hispanics- while blighted areas of the north shore have grown gentrified to some degree.
Anyway this is all to say north shore people tend to stay on the north shore, and south shore people tend to stay on the south shore, not so much (at least not anymore) due to cultural hostility but because it’s a pain getting from one side of the island to the other. With traffic, ten miles can feel like driving to canada.
I’m not sure if the route I take (my own, not gps’s) is the most efficient but without traffic, and hitting green lights, I can get door to door in under twenty minutes. The return trip takes a little longer. And since my daughter’s class is only one hour it makes no sense for me to return home in between. Which means every morning I’ve got approximately 70 minutes to kill on the south shore.
What to do with myself? The first week I went to Family Fruit every morning and loaded up on 99 cent tomatoes, but the second week their sales were no good. One day I drove to the beach and walked along the water. Another day I wandered through shoprite- anything for air conditioning! Sometimes, like now, I just sit in my car with the AC purring. I read cookbooks, blogs, do my nails.
Do I sound nervous? Why yes I do… because this all feels like foreshadowing: in approximately 65 days my little guy, who turns 4 in november, starts full day prek. For the first time in 21 YEARS I’ll have a significant stretch of time with no young child to take care of. No more worrying about him whacking his head, walking into counter corners, no more endless line of snacks or peed in pants. At least for seven hours a day.
If I’m at a total loss what to do with myself for 70 minutes, what am I going to do with SEVEN HOURS?
I could go back to school. CSI has a pretty campus and is cheap. I wonder if non matriculated students have access to the swimming pool? I’m not sure what I would study… blogging?
I could write a book. Seven hours of quiet and no one stealing my laptop would be amenable to that. I have an idea for a young adult novel in the vein of roald dahl, about a girl raised in india whose family moves to the states and enrolls her in catholic school. She thinks the holy trinity refers Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva. Later her bratty goth cousin Alice from england (yes a reference to that alice) moves in with them and steals the family butler’s time stopping device for her own demented purposes.
However, since the white family would have an Indian butler (although it turns out he is not a butler at all, but rather an immortal sadhu) this could be deemed egregiously politically incorrect. I don’t want to piss anyone off.
In the story the girl’s father has a vague but extremely important job as a bone collector. He travels the world collecting bones from various creatures and neatly collates them in his home office (my husband’s massive comic book collection inspired this) for future sale and use.
Or I could play World of Warcraft. With seven uninterrupted hours I could start a guild.