So, I’d say it took me until about mid-July to hit my stride this summer. It took that long to find a way to be at peace with the level of activity (high), to embrace the heat and sweatiness of summer (moderate), to figure out a way to carve out a wee bit of time on my own (low). I figured out a few things as I was racing around in the minivan or cooling my heels at the pool, just in time for hazy, lazy August.
First of all, I need to consolidate these kids next summer. Getting them each to their own separate activities is hair raising and severely taxing on my temporal and spacial reasoning skills. So next year, for one week, they’ll all be doing ONE camp in ONE place. Even if they all have to go to a My Little Pony camp at Southwest High, I will kill 3 birds with one stone if it’s the last thing I do.
I also realized I don’t always have to go somewhere. I’m an out-of-the-house kinda girl. I never ever ever ever manage to just hang at home (which, I think, goes a long way toward explaining why the syrup bottle is still on the dining room table at 5:00 in the evening.) Most of the time we’ve got somewhere to go, but just as often, the exodus, the springing forth into the world, it’s completely self imposed by the ants in the pants mother who pretends her kids have ants in their pants and that’s why she’s dragging them out of the house all the time when really, let’s be honest, she’s totally the one with the ants in her pants.
Rain is good. Rain forces us to stay put and catch our breath. It soothes our parched nerves and grass. I love rain in the summer – even if it does catch me with all my beach towels hanging out to dry (grrr).
Dinner can be bread and cheese. We have a strange air conditioning system that cools half the house – a Phantom of the Opera air conditioner, if you will (but hopefully you won’t because that is terrible. Apologies!) Fortunately the half with air includes Dash and my bedroom. Unfortunately, it doesn’t include the kitchen. And most of the time, we don’t even bother with it during the day since we’re not home, so hanging out in my steamy kitchen is not high on the list of things I like to do. I really haven’t been cooking as much as assembling meals this summer and you know what? That works just fine.
I can’t write for shit in the summer. I just have to accept it. It’s as if my words are stuck in a big pot of warm honey and pulling them out is too messy and laborious an endeavor to attempt. I’m busy, yes, but also, I may be getting my fill of words out in the world. Catching up with our families in Michigan and Massachusetts, talking, talking, chatting with neighbors at a block party, friends at the farmers market, bored ladies at the pool, people standing with their bikes waiting for the light to change, talking, talking, talking. We are out of hibernation for a few shimmering months and there is much doing to be done. Our heavy humid air is thick with words, more than usual, and that’s enough for me right now.
Summer is flying, just like I knew it would, just as it always does. Every day, I will notice something, really notice something, in an effort to slow it down. This morning. Devil Baby. Tousled swimming pool bed hair, eyes still puffy from a heavy summer sleep, puts on her rainboots and contemplates saving her forgotten stuffed dog and blankie from the rain. I watch her realize and accept. It’s too late.