Summer Daze

Kuckles Down by Norman Rockwell

Chalk it up to the latent truancy that exists in parent and child alike, but I’ve been less than motivated these last few weeks. From the middle of May onward, I found myself slogging through the final projects, class picnics, and end-of-school year programs. I bought the ice cream, clapped for the perfect attendance awards, and sniffled through fifth-grade graduation. When the last bell rang, my kids weren’t the only ones ready to be done.

No more lunches to pack…
No more homework to muddle through…
No more waking up in the middle of the night to remember what I forgot…
At least for the next 104 days or so.

I grew up in a teacher’s home; in fact, it was a two-teacher home. Both my mother and father spent their days schooling future generations in the finer points of history and science. For our family, life existed in discreet increments of 9 weeks that gradually worked their way toward the ultimate goal of summer vacation. Dad often had to take odd jobs during his months off to make ends meet, but occasionally, every so often, there was a glorious summer when we had enough. He could stay with us, tend his garden, putter in his orchard, and simply enjoy working at home.

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Summer Days

You might have noticed that I haven’t written a post lately. This has been due, in large part, to the fact that I’m steadily (frantically?) working on a manuscript that’s due in six weeks. Like any good writer, I’ve successfully managed to make my work expand to fit precisely the amount of time I have to do it. It’s a gift really.

The second thing that has kept me busy is summer vacation. Two weeks ago my kids embarked on those “104 days of summer vacation” and we’ve been relishing every minute of them. Minor league baseball, visits to the art museum, a weekend at the lake, and books and books and books for the reading program at the library—all accompanied by extra snacks and ice pops. Even when the weather has been less than cooperative—as it has routinely been this rainy June—they’ve learned the joy of splashing in puddles and when all else fails, of a Star Wars or Narnia marathon. Also, today just happens to be the birthday of a little blue-eyed boy who owns a piece of my heart and can make me melt with his ever-so slightly crooked smile. In preparation, I’ve been busy making, per his request, “a dragon cake.” After all, you only turn seven once.

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