Monday, June 9, 2008

At Long Last, Summer!

Ah, summer! School ended on the last day of May, so we’re officially one week into our summer break now. Is there any time of year more full of anticipation than the beginning of summer? Endless weeks of sunshine and adventure stretches before us like an untracked beach. And after a long, snowy winter and this cold, dreary spring, summer’s arrival is as welcome as a long-lost friend.

I know a lot of parents are already counting the days until school starts again, but I’m not one of them. Maybe it’s because my husband and I only have one kid, but I don’t dread having him home. In fact, I relish it! To hear other moms talk, perhaps I’m an aberration, but I actually enjoy spending time with my son the Whirlwind. He’s always finding ways to make me laugh.

We share a love of adventure, a sense of humor, and a hunger for new experiences, and summer is full of all of these. So I try to arrange my writing jobs so that I can spend as much time playing with him as possible.

We’re already had our first adventure of the summer – a trip to our family cabin on a lake in Wisconsin. (We just got back this morning at 2:00 am, in fact.) Although the weather was cool and cloudy, we still had plenty of fun visiting relatives and friends, fishing, hiking in the woods, and passing the evenings with puzzles, videos, and card games while watching sunsets over the water.

Now we’re back home and spending a few days with one of the Whirlwind’s cousins. Next up – a weekend in Colorado to visit more friends. Then it’s a couple of months of swim lessons, skateboarding, camping, field trips to museums and nature parks around the area, concerts, swimming, arts festivals, another cousin visit … and that’s just the stuff we know about. I’m sure there will also be birthday parties and picnics, sleepovers and movies, cookouts and fireworks.

It’s busy, but it’s all the stuff the makes life joyous instead of drudgery. I’ve got my bag packed with sunblock, water bottles, EpiPens, a camera, and a notebook, so I’m ready to make the most of these fleeting summer weeks. All too soon, August will be ending, that school bell will be ringing, and we’ll be thinking, “Where did the summer go?”

But I refuse to think about that now. At this moment, summer’s here, I’m wiggling my toes in the sunshine, the Whirlwind is splashing in the pool with his cousin, and life is so very, very good.

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