Monday, May 29, 2006

Yeah, Well Enjoy Your Vacation Mr. Holland; Us Moms Will Just Play Camp Counselor

Dear Walter:

I have been noticing that lately your stories have not only been their ususal entertaining pieces, but you have been so very prolific. I have been absolutely struggling putting pen to paper. But today, as I ticked off on my fingertips the various events I could discuss with everyone (Olivia’s nine-month checkup, upcoming airplane horrors trips) and found none of them even remotely interesting, I realized that the reason I have such a mental void regarding my blog is dread.

Because as of this Wednesday, 2:15 pm, Jake is on summer vacation.

Oh, I am very excited about enjoying some time with Jake; it is just that I know that as of this Thursday, 2:15 pm, he will be insatiably and incurably bored. And I will have made myself hoarse by loudly and incessantly telling him how much I love him. Ahem.

Do you think you and I view summer break totally differently? I have a mental picture right now; you are lounging poolside, inwardly chuckling at all the antics of your schoolchildren the last year. Your laptop is in front of you, and you are plucking hilarious and awwwww-producing stories out of the very air before you. I, meanwhile am too busy to write, what with checking the liquor cabinet to make sure that Thursday won’t catch me blindsided and force me to navigate through June, July, and nine days of August without the proper armament.

Yes, camp helps us mothers. In a way, because school, with homework and papers to sign, manages to carry us all the way until bedtime. Camp, on the other hand, is free-wheeling, spirited, creatively motivating and engaging, so that when I pick him up at 2:00, he just sees this. And there’s those hours from 2:00 on that are filled with “I’m bored”, “Can Michael come over?”, “Can I have some chocolate milk?”, and “Uh, does chocolate milk come out of your bedroom carpet?”

Look, I understand, you need these two months to recharge, otherwise you couldn’t do what you do so well from August to May. But us mothers, we just want, well, we just want September to arrive. We all say it to each other, only it is in code. Casually we ask, like the subject actually is the amazingly rapid passage of time, "Can you believe school is out already?" We answer, faux enthusiasm on our faces, "Oh, I know...summer is here already!" Using that lithe, cheerful tone with those sentences is prepostorous, i.e. "Can you believe I get my appendix removed, without anesthesia, already?"

Sigh. Think of me some days, figuring out what to do with two children, ages so far apart that there isn't anything I can do at the same time with both of them. I'll think of you: reading a book, watching a movie mid-day. I still love you.


P.S. When we come in July, will you make me a gooseberry pie? (You have time.)

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