Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Where the hell have I been?

When I was a kid I lived for summer: long days lying on the sofa, with a stack of Nancy Drew novels next to me, and just reading reading reading; biking the neighborhood streets with my friends and without helmets or rules; running through the sprinkler then drying off by sashaying through the neighborhood in my swimsuit; playing day-long games of Monopoly or Canasta. My father went off, in his stifling suit and tie, to the office. My mother ignored us as much as possible. How I loved the slow, hot boredom and freedom of it.

And now I'm on the other side of it. I'm the mother and: I don't let my ten-year old bike without helmets and rules; I worry if my kids disappear for too long; I try to organize "enrichment" activities for them and, when I don't, I feel guilty. And my husband still has a broken toe and my washing machine broke. I can't wait for summer to end.

11 comments:

Willym said...

you ever wonder when growing up turned into growing old??????

YELLOWDOG GRANNY said...

bunch a light weights..i'd be jerking them kids into the car and taking them everywhere..zoos, meuseums, parks, whatever the area offered..i did it with my kids and did it with the grandkids too..they still hate me for it..so it all worked out..

oh by the way...i sure missed you..

ayem8y said...

I’ve missed you too. I’ve taken over the kiddie pool. It’s so hot here that I just raft about in circles baking in the sun like a little rotisserie chicken. I think you’re missing out on a golden enrichment activity though. Go to the hardware store, buy a washboard and put those kids to work!

Miss Janey said...

Miss J STILL misses having summers off to do whatever with...yes "the slow, hot boredom and freedom of it" was exquisite.

Kathleen said...

The times they are a-changin' . . .

Here's hoping you can slip away to your own summer "Calgon Moment" . . .

Elizabeth said...

Willym - I actually know the answer to that! When I had kids and suddenly spent all my time thinking about the needs of those little creatures instead of my own. And I wouldn't take back a minute of it. But I still can't wait for them to go back to school.....

Granny - Been there, dragged them to that! (Missed you too. I'll be better...)

ayem8y - Aw, thanks sweetie! I hope you're basting yourself in sun block.

I like the washboard idea, but I don't think that even our local old-fashioned hardware store sells them!

Miss Janey - Oh, I do too. And part of my dilemma is that I'd love to give them the same experience. But, as Kathleen says (below), these are different times.....

Kathleen - I think I'll get my Calgon moment in September!

jason said...

I think we all ought to organize a poolside game of Canasta, maybe use the broken washing machine as the pool....Lock the kids up in their rooms with Nancy Drew and steal the their bikes for ourselves...*without* helmets.

sageweb said...

I am envious of the teachers that get the summer off..I am not envious of their jobs and pay though. But I wish I could take two months off every year.

mrpeenee said...

Lazy hot bordedom sounds pretty good rigth now.

a thousand shades of twilight said...

Good to have you back! Hope your summer hasn't been too trying! Nothing beats those childhood summers where we had no concept of time and they seemed to stretch on forever, does it?

I fear the long hot droughts of summer we've been having here. TO paraphrase Joni Mitchell, I really miss the hissing of summer lawns...

more cowbell said...

Sad, isn't it? I just wish grownups still got summer vacation ... I think we'd all be happier, nicer, and more productive.