Monday, June 14, 2010

Summer Time and the Living is Crazy

Every year about this time I do a blog on how nuts I’m going with the kids at home for the summer. That is probably because during the school year I forget what it’s like. I imagine summer to be lazy days sleeping in till ten or eleven in the morning. A patio chair under a shaded tree, with hours to spend catching up on my reading or day dreaming as fantastically shaped clouds glide peacefully over head.

It is similar to my Christmas fantasy where I’m serving hot wassail and homemade cookies to my neighbors and friends who’ve dropped in for a visit. My house is sparkling clean and twinkles with lights and tinsel and Christmas music is playing in the background as I bask in the joy and peace of the season.

Why do we do this to ourselves? Why do we imagine such impossible scenarios for the three months after spring and then beat ourselves up when they don’t happen? Perhaps because we refuse to deal with the realities of summer life. Who wants to think about piles and piles of plates and dishes growing in the sink thanks to a herd of hungry teenagers with access to the kitchen twenty-four seven? And where is the magic in lying on a bed on a hot summer night, stripped down to the most minimal of clothing and wishing a nice blizzard would come rushing through so one could cool off and go to sleep?

Personally, I think it’s nicer just to imagine how fun it would be to pack up all the kids and take them to a California beach vacation for a week then to actually do it. The dream is delightful, while the reality is grumpy kids that can’t decide on one activity they all want to participate in or one food they are all willing to eat.

My mom tells me to enjoy these days. She says that the kids will grow up far too soon and move on with their own lives. She says the things that annoy me about a house full of summer bored kids will become the stuff of fond memories in the future. She says this and then she and my dad hop a plane to Hawaii or take their trailer-for-two and cruise around the country, stopping at gift shops and restaurants that don’t offer ‘kids-eat-free’ deals. Hmmm

So what’s a middle aged girl like me gonna do? Only one thing. Lock the bedroom door, turn up the stereo really really loud and dream of the first day of school, the only daydream in my life that always turns out as good as I’d imagined.

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