The boys and I, we’re scraping the bottom of the proverbial barrel. Or, to change the metaphor, we’re in the warm flat sea of the last week of summer vacation, sort of like Lucy, Edmund, Eustace, and Reepicheep in The Voyage of the Dawn Treader — when they’ve reached the end of the ocean and they float through a sea of lilies until they come to a wall of water and Reepicheep paddles up it into Aslan’s Country. We’re there, except without the hope of heavedkcr-barreln.

Summer 2013 is coming to an end. Camps have been attended, sparklers lit, barbecued meat products consumed. Grandparents have been visited, Seattle has been toured, the U.S.S. Hornet has been explored and the Sierras backpacked. Soccer tournaments have come and gone, as have the Texas cousins. Great America has been conquered. There has been swimming and sweaty games of capture the flag. Hilarity has ensued.

But now we are in the doldrums, waiting for death. I mean, school.

And there is no more “keeping it together,” people. There are no more standards in this no-man’s land. Forget reading the classics, talking meaningfully to each other, practicing guitar, learning a foreign language, or finishing the math workbooks. Forget healthy snacks and reasonable amounts of exercise. Now we stay in our pajamas until well after noon, the blinds drawn against the outside world. The boys rattle around the house and I agree to everything. Can we play Minecraft until our eyes glaze over? Sure! Can we have ice cream for breakfast? Abso-fucking-lutely. Can we watch stupid YouTube videos for hours on end? You bet! Can we play soccer inside, slamming the dirty ball against the (relatively) freshly painted walls? As you wish, darlings. Can we have another donut/more candy/milkshakes/seven packs of gum? Yes! Yes! Yes!

The thing is, even though we’re all bored (the boys won’t admit it) and I’ve dropped any pretense of engaged parenting, these may be some of the days I’ll remember most — the three of us cocooned in a late-summer capsule, incubating until the start of another school year. But like it or not, there’s no denying it: the barrel’s empty, and It’s time for a refill.

About Kate

Things are weird in the wide world -- and like everyone else, most days I'm used to it. But to shake things up for myself, I like to notice and write about stuff that strikes me as both beautiful and strange, fascinating and repulsive, sweet and sour -- like how the steamy, stinky air that comes up from the BART vents at 16th Street Mission reminds me of being twenty-two, apparently immortal, and in love.

4 responses »

  1. Jim Holley says:

    Bravo. I wish I was there corrupting with you. Love, Jim

  2. Deborah says:

    Ha – I can so relate. I managed to stay engaged until Miriam went back to school (mainly by planning a trip with a return date of the day before). But, poor Jojo. Or, happy Jojo, I suppose because she’s slurping up all the Angelina Ballerina and Clifford videos she can while I count down the days to pre-school beginning, reassuring myself that she’ll be stimulated enough at that point to make-up for our current slothfulness. Glad to know I’m not the only one.

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