Here comes summer

Shel Silverstein knew it:

Here comes
Here comes summer,
Here comes summer,
Chirping robin, budding rose.
Here comes summer,
Here comes summer,
Gentle showers, summer clothes.
Here comes summer,
Here comes summer-
Whoosh- shiver- there it goes.

Boy, am I feeling this. This summer, like last, has seen me starting up in a new job– makes it hard to feel free’n’easy about taking time away, leaving early, or in general enjoying that “summer” feeling we all claim to long for– the “endless, formless, structureless expanse of time” we remember from our childhoods.

Alden has been in “camp” all summer– that means preschool/childcare situations that are arranged on a weekly basis in the summer months, which means Holy crap, what are we doing this week again?

He has had fun, he has had a lot of good experiences, and I love that he has become so capable of moving into new situations so comfortably. I wish, though…. I wish our summer wasn’t so freaking SCHEDULED. We’re not sending Alden to “camp” every week to enrich his life–though we try to find the programs we feel WILL be enriching and awesome for him– and we DO see all kinds of benefits he has gotten from these programs. I respect and admire the people who make his days so fun and caring and rich. But we send him –primarily– because we have to  –to accommodate our work situations.

That’s a whole different kind of summer.

Until I was 10 or 11, my mother was at home. Summer was…well… we didn’t go to school. I remember a few little enriching type summer camp things (an art camp?)  Also some family vacations that I now understand my mother probably scrimped and angled for all year and made happen by sheer will (a week at the Cape on a beach, in a tiny cabin. A week in New Hampshire via house trade. A few days in Maine once.)

But mostly, summer was the beach. Swimming lessons in the ocean, freezing cold, wavy, seaweedy at times, The swim teachers staying on shore while they drill-sergeanted us kids out into the nasty and we “walk-swam” when we thought they weren’t looking. I think they knew. The strokes were so not the point– the “staying alive and upright in the ocean no matter what” was the point, and we all got thst.

I remember summer being long, long enough to get bored and figure out what to do with ourselves.

When I was older, summer was a bonanza of “new starts” on my paper route as summer houses along the beach came alive for those months. You got prizes for new starts, and I won a transistor radio, a trip to an amusement park, a backpack.

Scenes of this summer- out in the boat more than in the past 4 years combined. Alden plunging, splashing, confidently submerging his whole self in the pool or the river. Weekly attempt to consume all the veggies from our CSA (beets beat Deckers regularly, but we’ve been veggie-ing like champs for the most part.) The daily shut-er-down routine to try to keep the house from overheating by the time we get home. The gigs, from the crazy (opening for Steve Martin at the minor league baseball stadium on a huge stage to a SO-supportive home-town crowd) to the wacky (4H fair in Ronan– no idea if anyone enjoyed us at all). A late-night skinnydip plunge in the Blackfoot.

It’s chilly enough in the early morning to remind me how crazy-fleeting summer really is. I’m feeling really glad that we have a few special adventures booked and committed to, so our remaining weekends don’t get sucked into the black hole of Busy.

I’m not quite ready for whoosh, shiver, there it goes!

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One thought on “Here comes summer

  1. Love your posts Grace! I can’t wait to read Wild– you got me hooked on Dear Sugar a couple years ago and probably don’t even know that. Seeing Alden and Josh a couple of weeks ago was fabulous! Alden has grown into such an intelligent, independent, fun boy! Nice work you two! Hope to see you next time we’re in Missoula!

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