August (and everything after)

We were away recently, in California visiting Mike’s family and squeezing in two days at DisneyLand. Feels like I left in the middle of summer and came home to find the end of summer already here. Even though it is hotter now than ever, even though school doesn’t start for another two weeks, even though our local pool is open through October, all of a sudden I feel the shift. It’s happened. I’m always always surprised by it, even though I should expect it by now. August is such a strange month; it feels slow and languid, but starting about now, there is this undercurrent of awareness that occasionally reaches up and pricks you in the middle of a lazy day. It says “hurry up hurry up, my days are numbered, fall is coming, do you feel it?” August is nostalgia for days that aren’t over yet.

Last week was a whirlwind. I learned so much about myself and about my parenting- traveling does that to you. It somehow amps everything up so that it is all intensified- the good and the bad, the exquisite beauty of parenting and the terrible emotions it can bring out. I swung so quickly from grabbing M’s hand to witness a breathtakingly sweet moment with our kids, to leaving the room due to the sudden surge of anger and helplessness that occurs when both kids simultaneously whine and cry and act so terribly that you wonder why you ever bother to take them anywhere. Traveling is so many of these moments stacked right on top of each other. I can’t tell you if we had a wonderful time or a miserable one. We had both. So many pure moments, and so many hard ones.

The rest of August will be a blur- Mike’s birthday, O’s birthday, last week of summer, school starting for O, I’s first day of preschool. Lots of firsts and lasts. I’m tired of applying sunscreen, but not ready to leave our lazy days of swimming and late sunshine. At our swim club, you have to be five and be able to swim across half the pool in order to go off the diving board. O has been preparing for this since June. He couldn’t swim in June- now he’s practicing his freestyle and backstroke and is a real fish in the water. August 18 (when he can jump off) has felt so far away, and now it’s here. The days of summer have a sameness- an insubstantial repetition, and yet they stack up to so much- the summer O learned to swim, my first summer at home with the kids, the summer we took both kids to Disneyland, and so on. Like always, our life stories are happening around us, and this chapter, the summer that O turned five, and I was two, is almost finished.

 

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