August. END of August. The middles are back in school. The pool is deflated. Summer, all but gone. Late, late at night, I stare at this computer screen, thinking of all the things I could be sharing with you about our lives and then I turn over, ignore you, like a lover with a fake headache.
Why do I blog more frequently when I am working and parenting? I have all the time in the world to write in summer. Summer, to me, I guess, is a giant restart button… like at the start of summer the button is flat and I am lying on top of it and as the days pass, I am lifted higher and higher until the first day of school and then I spring up and smash the giant red circle as if it is one of those gophers in the arcade.
As soon as I say go, the ideas and memories flood me in waves. My heart pulses under the pressure of the race we are about to start and in my head I can hear little voices . . . little things like, “Don’t forget to tell them about how at the Amana colonies, Quinn stacked up his oyster crackers and declared that they were a cheeseburger. Don’t forget to tell them about how Lizzie wrote a short story with a great line in it about watching a show about poisonous dart frogs.” Don’t forget, don’t forget . . .
But it is too late. The memories of summer are getting swallowed up by September, recorded only in digital images that we will forget because of their abundance. Summer is gone and I have not created a single drawing (minus the bunny on the birthday card for my momma). I have not baked a single pie (no sugar, remember?). I have not had a single beer (sigh).
So here, quickly, because I am meeting an old friend in ten minutes, is what I did this summer:
I held a sweet toddler in my lap and watched Daniel the Tiger. I let my fingers trace his sweaty, innocent curls and I breathed in his soft, summer skin. Quinn smells like chocolate milk and the sun.
I held a sweet teenaged son as he battled with hard decisions and consequences that still scare him. I got to hold him again, too, and found myself saddened at how he no longer fits into the cross of my lap.
I braided my thirteen year old daughter’s long brown hair, talked about boys and silly Vine’s, and the art of growing up. I taught her how to iron.
I hosted a birthday party for a twelve year old boy, who has fallen in love with skateboards, Instagram, and late night Facetime calls from girls.
I helped Noel with her wedding. I spent time with the lovely Haley. I went to Colorado (a road trip where Quinn really did make cheeseburgers out of oyster crackers and snowmen out of grapes). I watched sweet Kyle marry Katie. I held my sick kid. I stayed in a la dee dah hotel. I painted my toes silver. I had coffee with Susie and bought her a platter with a phrenology head map on it. I bought seven little buddha’s, three pairs of sunglasses, six chairs that already broke, and a piano stool with claws.
It was a good summer and I hesitate to do it, but I am ready to push start.
I find that when I have nothing going on I continue to keep it that way. I stay on the couch, eat another piece of cake, think only of changing the channel but never commit. However when I pushing 40+ hour days, go home to work on edits, perfect illustrations – well then I somehow have time to squeeze in blogging. We do it to ourselves?! No wonder we stress out so easily!