August 9, 2010

Daze of Summer

Posted in Fun Stuff tagged , , , at 6:12 am by autismmommytherapist

I am utterly, irrevocably, completely done with summer.

I should preface this statement with the codicil that summer is undeniably my favorite season, always has been, always will be. This sentiment in part stems from languorous childhood days spent on the beach, and later languorous pre-child days spent at the pool during education’s “off-season”. I loved the freedom of these months, the extended hours of sunlight, the lack of structure. I treasured the ability to revel in vast, unfettered swatches of time, with little or no restraints imposed upon me. I relished these hours which catered to my independent side, nourished that part of my soul that hates to be “required to attend”, awakened at a certain hour, bossed around.

Then, I had children.

Truth be told, I still love this time of year, the sparkle of sunlight on the ocean’s waves, the roar of a boardwalk’s roller coaster as my son and I hang on for dear life, hiding half the fudge I’ve purchased so Justin won’t consume a week’s worth of calories in one sitting. It still calls to me, this splendid season, makes me reminisce about summers past, recalls to me a simpler time in my life. It’s just that we’ve hit that second week of August, and really, I should be better prepared, because this happens to me every year, generally even this exact week. Perhaps it’s the twelve requisite loads of laundry required daily to keep my kids in clean towels and suits, or the vacuuming of sand that permeates the carpets no matter how many OCD rituals I perform post-beach, pre-house. Maybe it’s the mere thought of having to goop yet one more child with sun-tan lotion in an attempt to protect them from the UVB rays which bathed my oiled body in my own youth. Perhaps it’s the fact that when my youngest son was asked recently to name the principal players in his life, he responded with “my brother is Justin, my daddy Jeff, my grandma is Susan, and my mommy is mommy”.

I’ve known this for years, I shouldn’t be surprised. I got pregnant, gave birth, and literally lost my identity, my sanity, and even my name.

As I’m writing these words I’m realizing how ridiculous this all sounds, me with my (sort of) choice to stay home, my geographical proximity to the beach, my sliding glass door which opens onto our own private pool four feet away. As I pen my angst, one of my favorite protagonists of television, the dearly departed Livia Soprano, comes to mind. I can almost see her, face contorted in disgust, leaning over to jab a finger at my chest and exclaim with utter derision, “OH, POOR YOU!”.

Then of course, I am required to conjure up Tony Soprano so he can tell her to shut up and subsequently suffocate her. These are my fantasies, after all.

I know I’ll rally, embrace the remaining weeks of summer, even slightly look forward to those eleven consecutive days (not that I’ve counted) where my oldest son has neither the rigors of school nor the excitement of camp to look forward to, those eleven days where I will tear my hair out trying to create periods of fun where my child might consent to participate in a given activity for more than twenty-eight consecutive minutes. I’ll get over this mid-summer malaise, perhaps shed a tear when both children board their busses in September (an unlikely event), maybe weep a bit when that cover is laid to rest over the cerulean blues of our pool (a much more likely event). In short, I’ll get over myself.

But in the weeks to come, when I feel myself slipping, succumbing to the fatigue of yet one more whiny child “who doesn’t want to swim, leave the house, or have fun”, I will simply summon those fabulous Staples ads of yore. You remember them, the ones with the gleeful dad soaring down the aisle in his gussed-up cart, almost running over the obviously depressed child sulking nearby, the one clearly contemplating the end of another glorious summer, and the impending commencement of yet another year of school.

And if those ads don’t do it for me, there’s always that remaining fudge.



  1. LZ said,

    You either crack me up or put me in tears! I have been counting the days since school let out. This week we finally have something on the calendar for each of the three boys, M-Th. I will be running like a fiend, getting each one to a different place on a different schedule, but those blocks of 30 minutes scattered between the running, during which I have total and complete silence to myself…pure gold.

    • I know, aren’t they the best? I hope you have a chance to run to Starbucks and a good book with you!

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