Dear You (Me),
It is the middle of summer and I thought I might make you a little list, you know, the truth about summer, so you feel just a bit better when debating running away on a dog sled in your forgiving sweater, skinny jeans and favorite boots this winter.
1. Remember those long winter days when you had to come up with an afternoon craft or bake cookies to keep everyone from dueling swords for five whole minutes? Well let me just remind you… unless you pack up everything but the kitchen sink and head out somewhere to sweat buckets, those summer crafts and cookie making disasters last all. day. long. You’ve forgotten by now but the glitter was out by 6 a.m and the cap for the glue wasn’t found until stepped on at 10 p.m. (see #4)
2. You know how when you get cold earlier you just add on one more layer of clothes? Forgiving, muffin-top, pale leg covering clothes? Well the four year-old can’t count high enough to tally the number of days it’s been over 90 and there are only so many pieces of clothing you can take off once you are over the age of 5. Unless you find a family nudist colony, which sounds fun to no one ever in the history of the reality of what aging does to our bodies and what stray camp fire sparks can feel like when hitting a highly sensitive area.
3. Yesterday you picked your son up from school, he came out happy and bubbling and hugging you like crazy because oh-my-gosh he hadn’t seen you in the three whole hours that you spent grocery shopping with less children, less carseat buckling and less fighting. Well guess what, there is no “yesterday” in the summer. There is no picking anyone up who is happy to see you, you only do fun things which are, well, fun, yet covered with sweaty children uninterested in peeling themselves from you or you pick them up from doing fun things and they roll on the floor in protest of leaving which is, well, not fun.
4. You are probably reading this at 8 p.m. because the kids are sleeping. Because it is already dark. I am writing this to you at 1 a.m., because the kids are sleeping. Because it is one of the only three hours of the whole day when it is actually dark. No amount of room darkening shades, towels under the door or covering of every crack of light with duct tape can convince your children to please go to bed so Mommy can have a glass of wine or please stay asleep so Mommy can drink her coffee while it’s hot. It’s light out. They feel it in their energy-filled bones.
5. When is the last time you have thought about sunscreen? Three months ago? Maybe four? Maybe you are still having nightmares about how it mixes with sand and turns into an exfoliating scrub for a three year-old who you are chasing across a beach while calculating the damage of the rays already touching the glowing white skin he inherited from Yours Truly. Do me a favor, go outside, just for a minute and take the kids and clink icicles or something, cheer to the fact that you have not slathered a single one of them with sunscreen just so they could put a toe out the back door.
Okay and this is the part maybe you shouldn’t read or maybe you should. Despite the sunscreen, the sleep (or lack of) and the deep rooted fear of bikini wearing, you are loving summer and the freedom to head to the beach and not pack lunches and how you’ve even managed to get a little tan even though you never get to sit still. You spend winter wishing it would speed up and you spend summer wishing is would slow down. Maybe you should just try to love it all, the snowsuits and the sunscreen, because when you are a mom it all goes by faster than that one day you had all to yourself or the five minutes you had to write a blog post in the middle of day when everyone was exhausted from a day of soaking it up.
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