Nothing like a summer cold to slow you right down, to plop you back into bed allowing you to watch the clouds float by the window above your bed.
Because summer moves much too quickly.
Whether you’re vacationing or your kids travel somewhere without you; whether you’re playing baseball or watching endless baseball games; whether you’re swimming in a pool or an ocean or a lake or your own sweat; whether you’re trying to run outdoors in the heat or indoors on the treadmill or maybe not at all; whether you let the kids stay up late to chase lightning bugs and make S’mores or send them to bed early because omg, sometimes you just need a little peace; whether you’re grilling steaks or grazing on veggie plates or eating sandwiches or going out to dinner; whether you ever catch up on the laundry—or not; whether you make time to see your friends or the busy nature of summer schedules steals them away until fall; whether you have time off or spend your days in an air conditioned cubicle or office; whether you take time to smell the flowers or they given you allergies; whether you’re chasing Pokemon or complaining about others having fun; whether it’s your favorite season or your least, summer speeds right on by.
Right. On. By.
I’m reminded of my late grandmother’s warning about how time only moves faster and faster.
When you’re a teenager, that doesn’t seem to make any sense. Time is a set standard, based on the Earth’s rotation, right? How could it move faster?
And while I run the risk of sounding sappy, I must agree her advice rings true. Maybe not on the hardest days of parenting. Oh, those days seem to drag on for years. Trying to raise two sons to act with respect and compassion feels like an endless dance on hot coals with society throwing flaming hot daggers to make it all the more interesting; difficult.
But the boys came home from traveling with my parents at least an inch taller each. Once, when I talked to our older son on the phone, he carried on a legitimate conversation that included phrases like, “Well, that’s very interesting.” I’m sorry. What? Who are you?
Time keeps spinning out of my control. I can’t seem to stay on top of my cleaning schedule, my day job, my night-job, my kids’ social schedule, my social schedule, date night, the gray in my hair, the hair on my legs, bodily hair in general (omg, my eyebrows), the news, politics, the latest technology my kids find interesting, the latest warnings about the technology my kids find interesting, the garden, the flowers, the dog’s brushing schedule, when did the dog last get a bath?, dinner, dinner, dinner, dinner, why do we require food sustenance every single day?, multiple times per day?, we’ve only been to the pool three times, overdue library books, and hey, sometimes I like to write because it makes me feel good, like I’ve accomplished something when everything else seems mostly half-assed.
And so I sit in my rocking chair, blowing my nose and coughing up gunk, watching the clouds float by the other bedroom window. I sit and breathe ohsoslow so as not to start off a coughing jag. I drink my water. The boys run in, as fast as the summer speeds by, to check on me. I rock and remember a time when I felt so overwhelmed by the length of the days, those early newborn days spent in a haze of half-awake, half-asleep, mostly lost.
There’s too much to do and not enough time to get it all done. Yes, being sick on top of it all feels like some kind of punishment for enjoying summer so far. But despite a lengthy to-do list and a growing pile of tissues, I kind of feel like this summer is maybe, almost, perhaps just the right speed. For this year. For us.