I have a little confession to make: despite the amount of complaining I do about summer, about working from home surrounded by unproductive kids and their dirty dishes, about feeling like I’m having a stroke every time I run outside, I actually love summer.
I love dinner on a patio with misters and fans going full blast. I love long walks in the evening when it’s light until ten. I love concerts in the park and sundresses and pedicures and weird sunburns left on that spot on my shoulder I missed with the sunscreen. I love the smell of the neighbor’s barbecue fired up, and spontaneous trips to the snow cone shack.
But here a full third of this summer has passed, and I haven’t had a chance to really lean into it. We started with that mad dash toward the end of the school year, and its ridiculous amount of activity, and it seemed like everyone’s kids were graduating all at once, and then there was the family road trip of the century, and our exchange student’s mother came to stay with us. When she and her daughter left, a former exchange student arrived with her boyfriend for a visit.
So, it’s the time of year we have this kind of action.
This is weather that inspires everybody to crank down the AC until it’s reminiscent of a Minnesota winter and we’re all wearing sweaters to meetings and complaining about the heat. Which I think, if you look it up, is the clinical definition of “cracked in the head.”
Today is the last day of school. Blessed school. Even though our kids are looking forward to a break, we know it won’t be long before even they miss the structure. The routine. The luxury of lunch every day at the same time. They may even miss music and math and reading and science. Maybe.
I know I will miss teachers, our parenting fall guys. They’re the people in our lives who stay on task and pay attention. The ones who keep us honest with due dates and grades and attendance and tardy slips.
It’s timely, given how much my enthusiasm for running wanes with the beginning of the season I am most likely to want to do nothing more exciting than melt into the couch.
Summer is great for warm evenings on a patio with an adult beverage, concerts in the park with an adult beverage, sitting by a campfire late into the night with an adult beverage … Do you see a pattern here? Well, running isn’t really related to any of that.
To compensate, I just scheduled at least one running event a month until November. I need that kind of looming threat. Back in the day, people had things like cave bears and velociraptors as motivation to keep from developing back fat. Now, we’re lured off our tushes by paper bibs, ill-fitting shirts and participation medals. Mike and I are kicking off this wretched running season with a half marathon next week named after our state tuber.
There are moments when I think Colin exhibits what I want to believe is latent cleverness beyond what he could have inherited from either of us. Other times I’m pretty sure his relentless questioning is actually a form of obsessive compulsivity that I’ve seen before (ahem, Mike). Since overt boasting about my kids isn’t really my style, I’m going to assume the later is the more likely possibility.
Summer is coming and there’s nothing you can do to stop it.
You knew there would come a time when those in your charge would be too old for daycare but still too young for gainful employment. You don’t live in China. Did you forget? All they can do now is sit around and bug you while you try to get something productive done for the next three months.
This isn’t like when you were a kid. It’s no longer considered “healthy” for people to sleep until noon, then plop themselves down with a bowl of cereal and reruns of Hogans Heroes and Gilligan’s Island. You were in full control when you made the decision to work from home eons ago, ostensibly to be with these little hooligans through their formative years. And, yeah, you reveled in the opportunity to turn the working mom model on its head. You may have bragged some. It’s not above you.