Darkened shades, and lowered lights
Black-eyed Susans’ smiling face,
Pink Petunias, Queen Anne’s Lace.
Panting dogs, watch June bugs flying
Mothers hot, and children crying.
Vacation time, but best of all,
Just one more month, and then it’s Fall!
poem by Jan Stribley
I have discovered that I hold my breath throughout the entire school year.
No wonder I’m hard to get along with; I’m oxygen deprived.
There’s homework. There are homework battles. There are bed-time issues. There’s me worrying about whether the boys are getting enough sleep (or whether they’re falling asleep in class).
There are friend issues. Who are they hanging around with? Who are they eating lunch with? Who is influencing them and are they making the right decisions? Do they feel peer pressure? Is anyone picking on them?
Are they comfortable in their own skin? Are they secure people? Do they feel awkward with their sexuality? What sorts of girls attract their attention? (And they ARE attracted to girls, right??)
Are we asking the right questions about their future? Are the classes they’re taking the right path to a future career? College is looming just over the horizon. I can see the signs, but at this point, they are still various colors of opportunity — nothing is terribly clear.
And then suddenly ………
Summer rolls around … I can B.R.E.A.T.H.E again. I can let all of those worries go and just …. peacefully co-exist with my teenage sons. There are no outside pressures. There is no homework to stress over. We don’t have to worry (overly) much about futures.
We can sleep late and set our own agendas. We don’t have to worry about being at a certain place at a certain time. We can eat ice cream, watch a movie, or simply veg out with absolutely nothing more pressing to do than to idly scratch an itch or two.
We can be lazy and not worry about unpleasant consequences.
I like lazy.
The world simply has more color. Everything smells better. Sounds are closer and more intimate. And everything tastes fresh and delicious.
Time slows down and memories waver and form like blurry images under water. There are no pressure points, there are only points to slowly pluck from passing activities.
I’m relaxed. Everyone around me is relaxed. I’m slow to anger and quick to laugh. Life is good. Life is peaceful.
And then summer ends.
And we find ourselves right back at life’s door, our hands balled into fists and poised just inches from the wood, ready to knock and ask permission to enter the next chapter of our lives.
We are braced for the future. We will handle the future.
But sometimes, I wish no one would open that door.
We miss you already.
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