Back-to-school celebration for your Momtourage!

Stay for just a while,
Stay and let me look at you.
It's been so long, I hardly knew you
Standing in the door.
Stay with me a while,
I only want to talk to you.
We've traveled halfway 'round the world
To find ourselves again.
-- Neil Diamond

Dears, this month's party is aptly titled, is it not? Whether you're doing cartwheels down the driveway or sobbing on the front lawn, back-to-school time is bittersweet for all of us. I assume mostly bitter for the kiddies.

And Mr. Diamond, oh how we love him (croaky Columbus concert and all) and listening to him sing these lyrics, you can't help but feel that tug on your heart. Is my little one growing up too fast? Does she still need me? Should Mommy simply go mix a cocktail once you're on the bus?

Yes, my dears, all of the above. So gather friends and neighbors even the know-it-all down the street because even though you don't want her to know YOUR secrets, everyone else's dish is just so divine.

I suggest a simple gathering around the kitchen table, or simply a few chairs on the driveway. Do it right after the bus arrives. You'll feel such a rush of I-shouldn't-be-doing-this guilt. So worth it!

What to serve? Go easy on the apps. One doesn't need to pig out after just having one's Special K. Fruit and a simple yogurt dip (your favorite flavored yogurt, spiked to taste with powdered sugar) is lovely. Perhaps a few bagels, sliced and quartered, served with plain cream cheese. Those neighbor gals only need a nibble. Bagels are too carb-y anyway, and will go straight to the waistline.

Serve this aptly named drink, the September Morn.

This recipe serves 1-2, so feel free to multiply the ingredients

2 oz. Light rum
oz. Lime juice
1 tsp. Grenadine

Fill mixing glass with ice. Add rum, lime juice and grenadine. Shake. Strain into a chilled highball glass.

For your musical selection, of course pull out the Best of Neil Diamond and sing, sing, SING! Who can feel sad doing the BAH BAH BAH in Sweet Caroline? I ask you! Well, no one of course! And decor? Fuggetaboudit. We're too broke and tired.

This gathering is simply to offer solace to all of us going through back-to-school mayhem. We're glad we now have a bit of time to ourselves, but we miss the young'uns. We're happy to hit the boutiques, but are still recovering from school supplies sticker shock.

Don't fret. Simply repeat after me: My name is ______________. And I'm in mourning/morning. Please pass the cocktail shaker.