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Monday, August 22, 2005

Relaxing end to summer

Regular readers of Creative Ink may recall my summer’s end post from last year Mania and mother guilt. Well I’m proud, I mean downright proud, to say that we had a vastly more relaxed, sane summer this year.

It was an intentional effort on my part. I scaled way back on the workload, even as I was hitting high gear at the end of May. The way I see it, there are only a precious few summers left when the boys will actually WANT to spend time with me. I’d better steal these moments while I still can.

Financially, we did okay. It’s been a stretch lately, but we managed and everyone is better for my decision.

I am, however, feeling a bit defensive about my tan. Given that I spent a portion of nearly every day at the pool and more than my share of afternoons watching baseball games, I’m sporting quite the savage tan this year. When anyone comments, my hubby jokingly pipes up, “How’s work going this summer, Wen?”

He kids because he can. He knows how important it was for the kids and I to play together. But he’s not the only kidder. I’ve also heard comments from colleagues and well, what can I say? We had a fun summer.

But this is the last official week of summer vacation. The boys start back to school next Monday. We’re all ready. Work took an intensified turn once we returned from vacation and the boys have all but lost interest in the pool now that football practice has started.

My savage tan is quickly fading. That’s okay because we have some great memories of hanging together. All three boys loved to entertain me with their exploits on the high dive. Ryan dives in what can only be described as a gaggle of arms and legs. Michael learned to dive off the edge of our neighbor’s pool and Patrick and his buddies perfected the art of a vicious game of pool tag without getting yelled at by the lifeguards.

Ryan and Patrick both made their summer baseball all-star teams and we had great fun watching them play with the best of their league. Ryan even snagged second place in the skills competition cranking a few hits over the fence and pitching fastballs.

Now we’re in the thick of tackle football. Ryan is the starting quarterback for the Bay Middle School seventh grade team. Patrick is playing wingback and safety for the Bay Rec fifth/sixth team. And Mikey, well, he could probably take them all on, but he’s got a few weeks before flag football starts. I’m praying that he understands he can’t wrap and tackle in this league. Oy!

Gearing up for school
So now that school is approaching, I’ve been motivated to finish some projects, namely repainting the boys’ rooms. I stripped the wallpaper from Ryan and Patrick’s room back in the winter. In a marathon painting session on Saturday, Danny and I prepped and painted the walls and woodwork in their room. Danny managed, God love him, even feeling a little under the weather thanks to my neighbor’s blender the night before. Anyway, the room looks fabulous, more like a teenager’s room than a little boy’s room.

Now we’re on to Michael’s. Soon we’ll be done with the walls covered in crayon scribbles and smears of play-doh. I primed over his name scrawled in pencil. It’s kind of sad, but it’s also time. He’s in first grade now and informed me that his sailboat room was just too babyish for a budding linebacker.

I’m nesting a bit, as I always do at this time of year. I’d like nothing more than to tear into every room in the house and scrub, scrub, scrub. But I’ve got too much work to do this week and I need to get the painting finished. Next week, when the boys are gone I’ll be able to tackle the cleaning.

And boy do I have my work cut out. We’ve got a summer’s worth of grime coating the inside of the house. There’s a mixture of dirt, sand and dog hair from the revolving door that was my house all summer. Seemed pointless to keep cleaning when one neighborhood game of hoops could mean the end of my clean kitchen floor. And so I relaxed my standards for the duration of the summer.

Relaxed … that’s how I will look on this summer. And isn’t that the point?

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