Almost a year. I think that's enough of a break. I haven't had much to say. Well, actually I don't even know if I had much to say in the last year, because I haven't really had time to think about having much to say. I've been too busy just trying to hold my head above the water, just trying to suck in enough air to keep from drowning.
But it is indeed summer again, funny enough it always comes around, and I get a little bit of a break. Maybe it is just shallower water, where my feet can touch the sandy ground, and I can stand up and breath slowly without fear of salt water leaking into the corners of my mouth.
I finally felt like writing again, just recently. I'm not taking any classes this summer, so I'm not wasting my creative writing time on journal reflections and papers that nobody cares about but that must be checked off a list of required submissions. I do need to study for the Praxis exam, which I will hopefully take later in the summer. It seems like so far into the future, August, but really it's practically tomorrow. No, I'm not ready.
Instead I'm taking naps in the afternoons and watching old movies on HBO and cleaning out a drawer or a cabinet here or there, and getting the boys packed for Boy Scout camp. They are both going this year for ten days of glorious Lord of the Flies living in the mid-Missouri Ozarks. Meanwhile my husband and I are going to the beach for a few days, our first getaway without children in nine years. I haven't started packing for that, either. No, I'm not ready.
I saw a woman at the grocery store the other day trying to put bags into her car and strap a bucking, screaming toddler into a five point harness, her hair in her face and sweat on her brow. I thought, wow, that was so long ago for me. I feel for that woman. But I do not wish to be her again, I'm perfectly content with my insolent and bitter teenager.
I no longer have elementary aged children living in my house. Instead I have two young men in only slightly different stages of puberty. They are like young goats on a rock, constantly climbing up and knocking the other off. I'm quite certain the only fresher hell than two boys in puberty would be girls in the same stage, but that is not my hell, it is someone else's and I'll take the hand I've been dealt, thank you very much.
I'll take my two beautiful sons, both boy scouts, both soccer players, both musicians. One is in his last summer before entering high school, one heading into middle school. New buildings, new bus routes, new teachers, books and friends. New pencils. I can smell the wood and graphite from here. Same old anxieties. No, I'm not ready.
Sometimes I get the feeling that what is coming in this next year as I try to finish school and be Supermom again will be even harder to manage than the insanity of this past year. I am not Supermom, we've established that before. I look back over this past year and wonder, how in the hell did I do THAT? How can I ever handle more than this? Dare I tempt fate and think these thoughts? Probably not. Yeats' poem plays over and over in my brain. It is the screensaver on my phone, lest I forget the fragility of my hold on all of the things for which I allow myself to be responsible.
The Second Coming
Turning and turning in the widening gyre
The falcon cannot hear the falconer;
Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;
Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,
The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere
The ceremony of innocence is drowned;
It is summer, and I am standing weakly in shifting sand instead of treading water for a few short weeks, then we start it all again. No, I'm not ready.