Summer so far has been a long slow death, punctuated by some brief moments of glory. The glory found has been of the most mundane kinds: soaking up sun in a new bikini while children play nearby, a good book in my hands. Mid day naps, on occasion, with my teacher-husband, who’s work load is lighter this time of year.
More often, summer so far has been a series of endless questions with the wrong answers. “Can I eat an ice cream bar now?” (No, not at ten in the morning.) “Can I play more ipad?” (No, you played an hour, that is more than plenty.) “Can you buy me more toys?” (No, you do not play with the ones you have.)
I AM saying yes. I just can only say it so many times in so many circumstances.
Summer is not about the endless possibilities as much as it is about a narrowing of focus towards home and lake and library and in and out. The fact that some of my children still do not know this is understandable (it IS his first summer home) but still, a sort of slow wearing down of my life forces.
I sometimes wait for quiet time, ACHE for quiet time.
I know it will only take a certain amount of the same kind of whining each day, for me to get him there. “Quiet time? Why we do quiet time? I don’t want quiet time! Today you say we don’t do quiet time! I don’t LIKE quiet time! How long is quiet time? Why you make me do quiet time! We do quiet time yesterday! We do quiet time EVERYday! I don’t like it quiet time. I don’t like it quiet time. I don’t like it quiet time.”
All of these statements can most helpfully be responded to with holding, a kiss and the response “I know” or “I love you, bud.”
Quiet time lasts only 30, 45 or 60 minutes, depending on how hard I’m having to try to hold it together on any given day. Never more.
This is a great testimony to my strong will and kind spirit.
I buy Tin Tin books in Chinese and we stock up the bedroom with marbles and legos and cards to play poker or solitaire and warm cats.
This does not change his acceptance of his daily fate. But it means that by the time quiet time ends, he is usually mellow and relaxed, ready for hours of swimming in our home pool. Happy, even.
Narrowing of choices is sometimes just what we need. Possibilities sometimes are best born from impossibilities.
Right now my world is small too, son. I too face the daily challenge of a kind of quiet time that I don’t long for or embrace.
And like you, it’s shaping me, molding me, growing me, changing me.
Summer, so far.
Is what a summer should be.
A quiet revolution against our ordinary.
And a quiet acceptance too.