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Friday, June 04, 2004

Summer vacation

The school year is winding down and we're gearing up for another summer vacation. Officially, Ryan and Patrick are done next Wednesday; Michael on Thursday. One week from today they will be reveling in all things summer.

This one will be different than in years' past. The boys and I are all at home together. I've got a little anxiety about how I will get my work done under this arrangement, but I'm hoping they will help me out.

Here's the deal, I'll be working early from 6 a.m. to 1 p.m. (they usually sleep until 10), with the afternoons reserved for the pool. Most likely, I'll be back up in the office some evenings, finishing up what didn't get done during the afternoon. Of course, that schedule doesn't take into consideration the mess that is June and early July—namely, Safety Town, swimming lessons and T-ball for Michael. But accommodating those schedules is why I'm at home, so we'll make it work somehow.

Ryan and Patrick are at those magical ages when they are able to jump on their bikes and the pool, to the library, to play hoops, to the youth center. It's always difficult to give them wings to explore, but this is the first year I feel a bit more comfortable doing so. It probably has a lot to do with the large posse of neighborhood kids they hang with–a great bunch that all have similar (clearly stated) rules/expectations/limitations.

At this point in the year, I'm looking forward to the looser schedule—not hounding the boys about homework, packing lunches and making sure uniforms are clean. Still, I'm amazed at how it takes a good two to three weeks to sink into the rhythm of summer. We'll hit our summer stride right around early August, just as CYO football camp kicks in, harkening the arrival of yet another school year. And this school year will be different—my baby starts kindergarten in the fall. But I'll push those thoughts from my mind right now and just enjoy the sweetness of summer.

"Summer afternoon—summer afternoon; to me those have always been the two most beautiful words in the English language." — Henry James to Edith Wharton

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