Summer is the time that I look forward to all year long. I long to get back to my happy place, the pool. I want the lazy days of summer without schedules, homework or packing lunches. I love the freedom of not setting an alarm clock. I love the teeny, tiny moments of ordinary and spontaneous laughter that pop up during the day. I like the random gatherings of neighbors and friends on weeknights. But I’ve decided that summer may be a bit like childbirth – you forget the pain and only remember the outcome. I remember having a great tan and days lounging at the pool watching my four kids play in the water and eating cheese fries from the snack bar last year. I remember trips to the river and hole in ones at the mini golf place. I remember singing in the car with the windows down.
Maybe we just haven’t gotten into our groove yet this summer. We’re only a week and a half in. So far it feels like there’s more dissension in the ranks. Everyone wants to go a different way. The teenager wants to go to the pool. The little guys don’t want to because they’re afraid it might storm. One twin has had a rash, lost a tooth and a fever. I think of a craft and not everyone wants to do it. In fact, no one wants to do it. For some reason, Full House is the entertainment of choice so far this summer. My friend and I took the girls for pedicures and the immediate question was “what can we do next?” This morning I burned a dozen and a half corn muffins and had to heat up frozen pancakes. The dog stole the pancakes and knocked over a Fiestaware plate shattering it on the floor. And now the upstairs air conditioning isn’t working and the guy is coming between 1 and 4 thereby knocking out any possibility of heading to the pool before the daily Allstar baseball practice. The river is high, muddy and not suited for swimming. And the songs on the radio have words that all the kids understand and are not allowed to say. All I can hear are the “get me, can I and MOM!” statements that emanate from every corner.
Maybe it’s because Mommy is trying to work from home and constantly dividing her time between kids, house and work. Maybe it’s the weather. Maybe it’s all the changes we are making in our house. Maybe it’s because none of the four can be easily dragged along to do something they don’t want to do anymore. Maybe it’s the up-in-the-air vacation schedule that’s been created by baseball. Who knows what it is…it really doesn’t matter. But I need to find that happy summertime place because the guilt of not being there is as painful as just being in this weird summertime spot.
So, today I’ll start my search. I’ll look for the silly and the fun in the sun. I’ll disregard the dishes and pretend all the bickering is really all giggles. And I’ll remember to be kind to myself and not try to create too many over-the-top outrageous moments. I’ll remember that fun can be found on the grocery store aisles with a smile and a joke. Or maybe it’s waiting under the willow tree in the backyard. We’ll find it I know because that’s how Farleys roll. We’re just stumbling through summer right now and I’m ready to glide.