(For those of you who read the blog via e-mail, there's a YouTube video on this blog post with a Tom Petty song called "Southern Accents." Little mood music.)
Mostly, you know, I'm all about blooming where I am (trans)planted. Mostly, you know, I can find my spirit of adventure on this new planet called New York and MOSTLY, you know, I can find my sense of humor in the juxtaposition of my southern, spastic self among all of these Yankees.
But, y'all, school is starting in Austin today and I find that I am sort of overwhelmed with homesickness.
I think it's really that I knew how everything worked there, you know? If we were there, I would know exactly what to do and what teachers to ask for and I would be confident of my kids' abilities to be both challenged academically and also find nice friends. I would know exactly where to go back-to-school shopping and I would know exactly what to sign the girls up for in terms of extracurricular activities. I'd get to volunteer in their school and walk them to class and make the office staff laugh. (The schools here do not welcome parents.)
I would have my own circle of friends with whom to celebrate the start of another school year. I would have called my friend Laura, whose baby started Kindergarten today. I'd have gone grocery shopping (by myself! Woot!) at Central Market and then shown up at my friend Lisa's house (Lisa's oldest started Middle School today), where there would be a glass of wine with my name on it. Or maybe we'd all meet at the local community pool and cook out. Or meet at my own funky (and still unsold, sigh) house and throw the kids in the pool...
I just miss it. I miss our great street and the way we all looked out for each other. I miss calling my neighbor Erin and asking if she wanted to bring her girls swimming and the way she'd just give Jane dinner and a bath with her own kids without even thinking twice about it. I miss people who call me, "Hon" and the way everyone in Austin has an easy smile and a few extra seconds for courtesy. I miss Texans--as a species.
Please don't tell me that it'll get better here. I know it will. I'd lived in Austin since I was eighteen and it still took me almost a year to feel at home in Austin in that neighborhood. It'll take time for everything to feel right here. I had some deep roots and it's just going to take a while for them to take hold in this particular landscape. I know all that.
But for today, I miss it.
There's a southern accent, where I come from
The younguns call it country
The yankees call it dumb
I got my own way of talkin'
But everything is done, with a southern accent
Where I come from