All through the craziness that has been this past Spring, all through the fly by the seat of our pants months of June and July, I have kept repeating one thing to myself.
If we can make it through the summer and get to the beginning of the school year, we can create a workable routine that everyone can live with. And life will be good. Repeat after me. Life. Will. Be. Good.
This summer has been one non-stop juggling act. Meshing the work and travel schedules of two people who no longer live in the same house but still share three children has been intricate, to say the least. And as long as I live, no matter what else I remember about this period of time, I will always think of this as The Summer I Gave Up Control. Kicking and screaming the whole way, to be sure, but I still did it. I've spent very little time in my comfort zone the last two months, and even though I'm quite aware that my comfort zone is a little on the overprotective side, it still has not been a walk in the park.
I've had to loosen the reins and give the kids more freedom than I ever have. Hanging out with their friends downtown, going to movies without adults, staying home on their own while I've worked - the list goes on. Gumby's best friend came to town from Austin, Texas, where his family moved last Fall, and Gumby was invited to spend six days with his friend and his family. The plan was for the boys to spend as much time together as possible and get taken virtually everywhere fabulous in the area by doting family members. There was no way in the world I could (or would) say no, but the idea of him being gone for six days made my stomach kind of clench up. I told myself to suck it up and let the kids have some fun. And they did. And I survived. But it was a first - and a testament to my level of trust in the friend's family that I didn't end up institutionalized somewhere. (In a related note, while unpacking from our trip I found the thank you cards we had written to send for this lovely six days. Apparently, I'd taken them all the way to LA and still forgotten to mail them. Maybe they'll be amused? Anyone?)
Anyway, my point is control. And getting through the summer unscathed so we can get our lives back into a routine. It's going to be a different routine, but I'm betting we can still make it a familiar and comfortable one. There is no routine to our summers. And I'm really tired of it. The thrill has worn off.
So with less than a week before school starts, how is my optimistic plan looking?
Surfer Dude has an infection in both ears that I'm pretty sure he got body surfing at Zuma Beach.
Sasquatch is busily trying to eke the last drops of sloth and fun from his summer - and is plenty surly in the process.
Gumby, who I fear is the hardest hit from the divorce in addition to starting Junior High next week, has developed what I'm pretty sure are anxiety related eating issues. I think the kid is simply stressed, but my anorexic past is going to force us to take more serious action than just sitting him down and discussing it.
And me? How about if I repeat a sound bite from my last two days at work? One of my coworkers, shaking his head sadly at my continuing streak of being a feces magnet, said "Whenever I work with you it's like someone's shaking the branches of the Crazy Tree".
Thanks a lot. It's not like I can control it or anything.
Friday, August 8, 2008
Posted by the rotten correspondent at 12:02 AM