I think I vaguely remember when summer was a time we longed for–a great trip somewhere, lazy days, time in the water, barbecues, playtime with friends . . . obviously, this doesn’t last for anyone that long. Even teachers, these days, are sucked into summer sessions, and the work world hardly recognizes the change of seasons and college quarters may be never ending.
Still, I was excited about summer this year. It meant that Chynna would be home from college, and the water would be warm. All right, I live in South Florida, but we do have seasons, contrary to popular belief. Summer is when you know the water will be warm and that you can actually go in most pools whether they’re heated or not. (Frankly, winter is when we easily recognize the tourists, because they’re in the water. Usually, whether they are or not, we refer to them as Canadians.) Summer is recognized by the fact that you can count on a storm sometime during the day, you can usually count on it going away, and you’re actually excited about it because it means that the air will cool down for about an hour.
This year, it has simply meant that my house and home arena have become Grand Central station. I have been to New York, California, New York, and Washington, Maryland and Key West since summer began. They were all wonderful. Bryee-Annon has come and gone. She’s heading to Hawaii tomorrow. (Why wasn’t that one on MY itinerary?) Chynna has come and gone, with me, and without me. I don’t even know how to make a dinner reservation anymore because I’m not sure where I am or who is with me.
I’m grateful, of course. A lot of these trips have been business, but there’s nothing wrong with business when you get to see a lot of friends, learn great new information, and go interesting places. But coming home isn’t all that evening.
Last night, I walked in, and even for me, it was terrifying. I’m not known for organization or neatness in any way, but the seven suitcases in the living room and the clothing tossed about from all of them was daunting, even for me. I walked into the kitchen and thought that something had been massacred on the breadboard. Turned out just to be a pack of my wigs–borrowed when some of the kids had a costume party in my absence.
They don’t all live at home. I have suffered the empty-next syndrome, but in the midst of it, I’m left wondering how it all comes about. It’s not really an empty next at all. They have moved on, but we are still a storage facility. I trip over things that I mustn’t or somehow can’t get rid of. We are also a place to shop where coupons are not needed. And a kennel. Chynna’s in college, the cat stays with me. The cat’s cat–brought home by another child–also stays with me. The husky did not make it on the invitation to Hawaii.
But still, with them coming and going, with me coming and going, it’s . . . summer. And I do get to see all of them, maybe different places, different times. So, after the initial shock, I’m glad to be home, and I’m glad it’s summer. Seriously, the wigs on the breadboard just aren’t all that weird. And we all know I’m a disaster to begin with, and so, I’m delighted that it’s summer, and I’m even delighted that I’m a warehouse and kennel. It means that all the things that really count are still with me–and I have an excuse for being a walking disaster.