Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Stunted Summer

I don't know what it is, but I feel like it's taking forever this year to get summer going.  It's mid-June, Jacob's birthday is less than a week away, and ugh...it just feels like we should have packed a lot more into the past month and a half.  The weather doesn't stay nice around here for too long, so we need to pack all of the fun we can into the next three months or so. 

I'm not sure what the biggest culprit is, but I'm sure the weather, Craig's trip to Prague, and my brain are all contributors.  While we've had a nice string of good weather recently (aside from today), it took a long time for the weather to get warm and stay that way.  We had a ton of rain, and it just seems to have set everything back.  I swear half of the stuff in my flower beds is diseased, and I can't help but wonder if that's a product of the crappy weather we had for so long.  We got a major head start last year, which was great, and I know we had a cool spell after that, but it just seemed like everything was so slow to come alive this year, and now some of it is dying off mysteriously.  Brutal.

Craig's trip was only 10 days, but that's a lifetime in late springtime when you want to get your yard up and running.  It pushed back the pool opening (it should be ready but chilly-ish within the next day or so), and it took a while to get the yard under control.  Not having Craig around made it tough to find the time to do the stuff I needed to do (generally weeding and trimming), and by the time he was back a lot of it was more out of control that I would have liked.  I do think we've recovered nicely. 

I don't know for sure, but sometimes I wonder if Jacob's birthday set us on a path for this delayed summer feeling forever.  I don't think so, but here's my issue.  When I was pregnant, everything was focused on the end of June.  We were so busy getting ready for his arrival that a good month or more of summer-ish stuff came and went, and we were probably too distracted to really notice.  It's not that we didn't do fun things--we did--but it's hard to sit back and savor the summer when you're spending evenings putting together furniture and generally preparing for a major life change (and making arrangements in light of the many otherwise unproductive months that follow).  In the years since, I think we have two major events highlighted on our calendar at this time of year--one is Memorial Day, and the other is Jacob's birthday.  Leading up to Memorial Day, it's all about looking forward to the day off and planning how we want to spend the day.  Jacob's birthday is just a few weeks after that, and a lot of that time is spent planning his party, finding gifts, etc.  We also have our three other niece/nephew birthdays in that span as well, so let's just say we find plenty of ways to keep busy.  And suddenly it's Jacob's birthday, then the 4th of July is just a couple weeks after that, and suddenly the summer that seemed so open and so full of promise just a little over a month earlier on Memorial Day, is now at its peak and the rush is on to cram it full, or... ummm...rather, savor every moment before it's over.

It probably also doesn't help that Jacob's birthday pretty much hits at the peak of summer daylight, which means every day after the next day will be shorter.  Boo.  I still remember being a little bummed not being able to enjoy the longest day after Jacob was born--being stuck in the hospital, awake at all hours, very preoccupied.  I know it all means nothing, really, because we've got a good couple months ahead of us, but it feels like summer is slipping away.  So much to do, so little time.  We have a vacation to plan, parties to attend, games to watch, and finally a clear pool to swim in. 

But as usual, most of the summer will be taken up by work and all the other un-fun things we do on a regular basis.  Evenings are busy, but once Jacob's in bed we need to step away from the TV (oh, Big Brother, how you suck us in) and enjoy our backyard or our new front porch furniture.  I want to swim and ride my bike and eat outside.  We want to go to the drive-in, enjoy the zoo, take wagon rides/walks, and get in plenty of outdoor playtime.  I get frustrated when I read some of the blogs I frequent, many of which are written by freelance writers who apparently have time to do fun things, create amazing little crafty projects, feed their families real food, and make fun treats, probably all in the name of research.  I beat myself up about it, but I'm a full time, out-of-home working mom, and if I ever want to sit for a bit, there just isn't time to do it all.  Still, I did manage to go to the gym tonight, come home and make a couple different types of popsicles in my IKEA popsicle molds, and still have time to do some research for the food for Jacob's party.  Still, I have a ton to do.  Good thing it's too cool tonight to feel guilty about not enjoying the porch!

But I know that too many nights of that, and the summer will slip away.  It always goes too quickly, and I'm nervous this one will be no exception.  Hopefully lots of fun is to come...

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