It's been weeks since my last column, which saddens me as I run into people at school, the dentist office, the running trail, the drugstore and other exciting places who tell me, "I relate to what you write!"
That means many readers will relate to my reasons for taking a short sabbatical.
I have learned, in the past four weeks, that sending your oldest child to high school for the first time is an emotional SheiKra ride.
Her right to privacy prevents me from writing too much more. But let's just say I'm driving her to a lot of football games at other people's schools.
I have learned to spell SheiKra.
I have learned that the school bus really is safer than any other mode of transportation, that Mapledale Drive is especially treacherous and that even the toughest-looking teen will call her mother when things go wrong.
I learned that it is possible to deal with people in good faith, and that includes body shops and insurance adjusters.
I already knew who Ralph Hughes was, and as my grandmother would say, may he rest in peace. I learned that the county's moral courage award is not immune to politics. And neither is Jim Norman.
I have learned that people in Tampa Palms care passionately about that bridge project, and you'll read more in this newspaper about that issue, I promise.
I have learned that Facebook really is crack. That all Facebook postings are public. And that people in the know are angry about "the new FB," about which I am thankful to know very little.
I don't know if it was a good idea to list my daughter as a "FB friend."
I am still not an expert on the middle school agenda book. Does every parent read and sign it every night? Or is it okay to forget about it if your child is getting A's? There is an etiquette here. Someone please enlighten me.
I already knew my mother would campaign for Obama.
A quote from my daughter: "Mom. I'm going to call that high school where you say you went, and ask them if you ever even visited."
I have learned the calming effects of a mediocre movie. The pleasure of just a five-degree drop in temperature. The joy at finding D-batteries in a hurricane scare. The miracle of Chinese takeout on a Thursday night.
The simple things will see you through, if you can just relax and let them work their magic in those rare moments when the day winds down and you can reach out and touch what matters the most.
Now if only I were ignorant about the stock market.