It always hits me a few days into summer break: I am living the life I always dreamed about. No, I’m still not lounging on the crystal white sands of an Italian coastal resort; I haven’t traveled the world–yet; I haven’t published (or finished) any one of the 20 plus novels I have so ambitiously begun at one point or another; and I still don’t have any money. What I do own is the most coveted and ellusive treasure–Time. Eight long weeks to spend with John and the kids doing all the things we love, however simple or complex. I am keenly aware that this Time is both a blessing and a rarity.
So what’s on the agenda this summer? Well, John has deemed it “2009 Summer of the Porch,” which really just means he intends to spend his mornings out there drinking coffee while he reads, and his evenings out there drinking bourbon while he listens to music. But he has turned the porch into a terrific spot, complete with string lights, ferns, and newly painted red 1950’s chairs. I plan to spend much of my time out there with him, discussing anything from local burger places we should try to which one of our kids is currently the most annoying.
During the day, I plan to spend large amounts of time with my group of friends at the pool. This will be our 5th summer gathering with our kids and I think we would all agree that the long pool-side chats have been a huge part of deepening our friendships over the years. We all started in maternity swimsuits, dragging 2 year-olds by the hand, looking for a way to pass the time and wear out the little monsters for naptime. With a few exceptions (I think we will only have 2 toddlers to chase this year), we now sit comfortably on the sidelines, enjoying the sun and the downtime while our kids enjoy their own friends.
John and I also have plans for painting rooms, gardening, researching our project (top secret), reading all of Ernest Hemingway’s novels (because we like to read thematically), cooking out, lots of long walks in Ashland Park, and taking our annual trip to Hilton Head. It’s true: it won’t all be wonderful. Part of my summer includes wearing a heart monitor for 21 straight days in order for my cardiologist to determine which medicine and what dose I should take for my recently diagnosed heart rhythm disorder. But that’s a whole different blog post.
Here’s to summer—to lots of kids running around my house and lots of time with John. To Gin & Tonics and Salsa music, to lazy mornings and late night debates, and the whole day in between. Who needs to travel the world? I’ve got the whole world right here on my front porch.