I’m just sayin’

sunshineI know I have a teensy little habit of taking something I’m experiencing and projecting it on the whole world, but something is definitely up. All my friends are feeling all freaky deaky, and quite frankly, so am I. We’re careening toward the end of the school year and I feel like we’re all driving runaway cars, pumping the breaks to no avail. Where did the time go? It feels like we were just wiping our brows after putting Christmas away and here we are in a deluge of end of the year obligations. Seriously, could we possibly pile on more stuff right now? End of the year masses, field day, plays, spring concerts, class picnics, graduations, class parties and on and on. On the one hand, it’s absolutely lovely. On the other hand, we may be getting too much of a good thing here. Everybody I know is racing around clutching camcorders with crazed smiles plastered on their faces which do nothing to hide the panic lurking in their eyes.

Yep, PANIC. Because in a few weeks we are ON, babies. ON. ON. ON. 24-7. Children all up in your business ALL THE TIME. No breaks, except for whatever camps and activities you’ve managed to sign them up for, which will require more running around with crazed smiles and more yelling hurry up, grab your waterbottleballracquetfishingrodclubscleatsclarinetloom.

I am really of two minds here. On the one hand, I love summer. I love the sun, the heat, the water and the not having to do anything. But then I went and filled us with activities because I’m no fool – the idle is not idyll. The quiet lazy afternoons never pan out the way I envision them. We don’t sit in the shade and eat popsicles and draw and fish and read. Possibly because of the frenetic pace we keep during the rest of the year, my kids want action and adventure. Or T.V. And honestly, we don’t even do that much. I suppose it’s relative, but I DO draw the line sometimes. For example, I drew the line at Irish step dancing earlier this year because of the wigs. I also draw the line at fencing, curling and golf. I don’t like golf. I’m not sure it’s an environmentally sustainable sport – especially in the driest areas of our country. It seems elitist and I will run the risk of subjecting my kids to forever being shitty golfers, but if they want to learn they can learn on their own time and their own dime. Plus the outfits are not cute. I pat myself on the back about golf, but then I signed up Supergirl for another run at Circus Camp, because obviously, the trapeze is a life skill that will serve her well. I signed Saint James up for a month long Junior Naturalist program and a drawing class. Why? Because this is their bliss and what can I do, but follow their bliss? And this is how I get myself in this pickle of the anti-Huck Finn summer.

It’s a paradox and I’m making a huge muddle of trying to explain it, but here it goes.

I sign them up for stuff because I don’t want them to be bored and drive me crazy, but in the end I’m crazy anyway and maybe even contributing to their being bored by keeping us on the run all the time. On the other hand, I only sign them up for stuff they love. These lucky, privileged children just happen to have a lot of interests. Take all that and dip it in guilt for not being 100% perky about all of this because a) I chose this life; and b) shouldn’t I want to be with my kids more more more? and c) I’m damn lucky to even have this to complain about, so I should just shut the hell up. Right? Right.

So I, like many others, spent the last few weeks with the calendar, various program catalogues and a furrowed brow, trying to figure out the right amount of stuff to put in our long summer days and how to physically get everyone where they need to go at the times they need to be there. I won’t know, until I’m neck deep in it, whether I got the right proportions of free time to camp time. And by then my freakydeakiness will have worn off, to be replaced with a numb exasperation with myself and my kids. The days will seem hot and endless and long and then all of a sudden it will be late August and I’ll get all freaky again, dreading the crush of school and all that entails, looking back longingly on our summer that seemed to stretch like taffy, and I’ll wish to be back here, right where I am right now.

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