It’s almost as if it never happened.
I mean…it DID. I know it did. I was witness to almost each and every second of each and every day. Surely, I could not have imagined all those seconds of all those minutes of all those days. So…it happened. Summer. It was Summer. I know it was.
And suddenly…it’s not anymore.
I had this strange, unfamiliar feeling come over me the last couple weeks of Summer. The usual cheery countdown to The First Day of School was feeling more like the countdown to an unwanted event; instead of gleefully marking off all the days and making up songs to sing to The Children about their impending doom while they politely yelled at me to shut up, I…felt…like…I wasn’t ready for that first day. I wasn’t ready to jump back in. And then I had this flashback of myself, many years ago, pushing a double wide stroller with two Toddlers and overhearing a conversation between two Mothers who were clearly much older and wiser in their mothering than I was. They were discussing how great their summer was and how bummed they were that school was going to start. It was like I was hearing their conversation in slow motion…my head turning towards them, my mouth gaping open, my ears disbelieving the very words they were hearing. I looked down at my own two Toddlers and thought of how I only fantasized about school days. How school days seemed like this unreachable goal I was just striving for, minute after minute, day after day. I felt as though I was still years away from these Magical School Days and the thought of a few hours of personal freedom seemed better than a sex dream starring Ben Affleck and I just could not understand what these women were talking about. Not ready? For SCHOOL? What the hell is happening in their world?
And then…it happened to me. I became those women. I didn’t want Summer to end this time.
Don’t worry, it’s not like I became mentally insane over the summer and I wasn’t looking forward to school starting at all. Because of course there was a little skip in my step as we all headed back the first day. I like schedules. I like routine. I like to settle in and write things on my paper calendar. I like to not have to brace myself for THE END OF THE WORLD each time I announce we have to run an errand. Oh GOD! NOOOOOOO!!!!!!! An ERRAND! Not an ERRAND! Anything but an ERRAND!!!! Help us! Help….us…..we’re meeeellllttting! MELTING!!!!! Worst…mom….ever….help….us…………(And…scene.)
Because of course The Children drove me crazy over the summer. They were consistent in continuing their self proclaimed challenge of fighting about literally everything. (One day, they were fighting over a piece of garbage. A PIECE OF FUCKING GARBAGE.) They were once again confused if I was their Mother, or their Cruise Director. When I asked them to do their chores, it was as if I accidentally lit their bodies on fire at the same time. Son upheld his persistence of always being bored but never wanting to do anything. Daughter upheld her persistence in just being…well, a little bit insane. At times I felt suffocated by their ever growing desire to be reallyclosetomeallthesecondsoftheday. I became a short order cook over the lunch hour. I became confused about how they actually survived on seemingly so little food during the school year because every ten minutes someone needed a damn snack. These are all the predicable things that happen to the Mothers of the World during summer.
But other things happened, too. We had a lot of quiet time together. We didn’t rush around. We watched lots of great movies. We worked on our suntans every week, our toes in the sand. We took advantage of such warm Pacific temperatures and Son and Daughter delighted in their Mother duck diving waves with them. We’d go to the park for 20 minutes, and decide to come home. Then maybe we’d go back for 20 more. They probably had too much screen time, but I stopped giving a damn. They started a car washing business one day, and a lemonade business the next. We got to see our family. We got to go to a Cubs game. And a Dodger game. And play a pick up game. We got to decide each day if we were going to do something, or do nothing. And while some of those days where we found ourselves doing nothing ended with me pacing the house like a caged animal, I tried my very best to remain present and enjoy the fact that The Children still wanted to hang out with their Mama. Even if she does yell sometimes a lot about shoes and why they aren’t in the basket she has so thoughtfully acquired for them. We had way more good days than bad. We really did.
I spent last night looking at the calendar that is full once again. I wrote in all the soccer schedules and the baseball schedules and the dinner schedules and the guitar schedules and the schedules of the schedules and prepare again for Fall weekends being owned by….the schedules. I don’t mind. It can be therapeutic to stay busy. And I know it’s good for The Children to once again have places to be and people to see and Common Core for Mom to cry over.
But….man….I just wasn’t ready.
It was a great summer.