Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Summer Report No. 5

This summer is the summer that I've found the secret to surviving the summer: Don't go to the pool. Counter-intuitive, I know, but it works for me. Let's look at why the pool may not be my natural habitat: I hate direct sunlight, I hate sunscreen, I hate chlorinated water, and I don't much care to swim.

I'd managed to stay out of pools for the twenty years between high school and Jack's third birthday, and I felt no loss. But when you stay home with small children, the pool is the only way you survive the hot months, and so off to the pool we went every day from the end of May until the start of September.

But now my children are no longer small. Jack's interest in the pool is waning, and Will's is entirely dependent on whether or not his friend Gavin will be there. Often Will ends up going with Gavin's family (thank you, Sarah!), leaving me to enjoy the long afternoons at home quilting, reading, canning, and--ever so rarely--cleaning.

Turns out, summer's not so bad when you don't spend everyday standing in the middle of a throng of splashing, screaming children who are all surreptitiously peeing in the water to their hearts' content. Huh. Who would've thunk it?


Really, it's been a nice summer. I've enjoyed the garden, enjoyed watching the hummingbirds and butterflies that are drawn to the flowers, enjoyed canning and freezing the tomatoes and the beans. I've had fun blueberry picking and attending fiddle conventions. The beach trip was marvelous. Lots of things to feast on this summer, visually, gastronomically ... lots of good sights, good smells, good eats.

But you know what? I'm about ready for it to end. School starts in three weeks, and while the boys have been phenomenally not-all-that-irritating this summer, I am ready to miss them again. Ready to feel nostalgic for their presence, sad in their absence.

In short, though I will miss the quiet, no-rush mornings, the aimless afternoons and evenings fragrant with honeysuckle, I am ready to have the house to myself.

Really, it comes down to that.


magsmcc said...


Pom Pom said...

Oh, yes! That IS a delightful dose of happiness. Quiet house. Schooled boys. Good.
The pool is so communal. The beach is a bit better, but still very close quarters with partially clad bods. I loved the pool when I was a kid and I could not understand why my mama did not want to go every day. I should probably go one more time with my grands. I do like their delighted faces and their clingy little fish bods. I have loved every moment of my summer. Summer is such a happy song.

Tracy said...

I'm with you on the pool thing. The only thing that will get me near water (and I don't mind swimming, really), as a 38C+ day (over 110F). Then it becomes a matter of my ability to survive and quite frankly I don't do very well in that heat.

We've just had 3 weeks of mid-year (winter) holidays here. I must tell you that after working full time on teaching rounds and then 3 weeks with the kids, my first day off was something altogether precious. I studied. And I slept.

Next summer I'm going to try the Zen thing. It's worked so well for you!

wayside wanderer said...

You have had a great summer. I think I am jealous. Mine has been great, but in a different sort of non-summerish sort of way.

I sat in the pool yesterday until my knee caps were pruney. It is THAT hot here. But thankfully it wasn't swarming with peeing kids (maybe peeing adults?). You paint quite the picture there! haha

Angela said...

I have just finished Holiday Bible Club [VBS to you in the USA]a really intense, noisy week looking after other people's children. I HAVED loved it, honest.
The parents have been overwhelmingly grateful [esp for the fact that THEY have had a week of peaceful child-free mornings!]
But the prospect of two weeks just resting quietly in the country with my best beloved beside me, and a pile of books and a little sewing is just BLISS.
enjoy the remainder of your summer - blessings x

Gumbo Lily said...

I must know if becoming a Zen Buddist had anything to do with your summer going so well?

Happy Last Days of Summer.

debbie bailey said...

I'm jealous! I keep thinking, "Maybe this year I'll have the house to myself." It hasn't happened in thirty years, but I'm holding out for next year. It really should happen then. Please, God, make it happen then!

JDS said...

"Ready to miss them feel nostalgic for their presence." Coming from a fellow parent, let me say that those are absolutely priceless lines.

Susan said...

There's a commercial in our area where a mom is skipping beside a grocery cart happily tossing in school supplies. The children follow crestfallen and dejected behind the cart that's bulging with back-to-school necessities. The song that plays underneath is "It's the most wonderful time of the year." In my heart, that's August. That song will never be a Christmas tune to me. It's firmly in the calendar as August.

The dB family said...

I too am looking forward to the start of school. I adore summer, but we need to establish some new and different routines with the kids.

I laughed out loud at your comment about peeing in the pool. The girls are taking swim lessons. Peanut was asked if she was allowed to pee in the pool. She said, "yes!" We'll chalk it up to her not always understanding the English language, but there you go! You don't even have to guess what she is doing in the pool :o)!