Tuesday, September 04, 2012
3. I've been splinched.
I've had lists and bags and tables covered with gear.Suitcases and backpacks and wet bags (or are they called dry bags?) have gone up and down the attic stairs again and again and again.
It's been good, really good. Our recent visit to Michigan and Canada was probably our best ever. In fact, this summer has probably been our best ever. That's if you disregard last Friday and Saturday which were just this side of gruesome. Boys and clothes shopping? Too, too fun, don't you know!
The highlight was heading out for boys' white button down shirts, size 16. Sounds easy enough. Walmart? Sold out! Target? Nary a one in sight! Sears? I found two -- same size, same brand, slightly different design. One was $5.98; one was $16.98. Sold!
Ignoring these rather trying and lengthy shopping excursions, we've had a good summer. Not perfect, but really, really good.
I've been mentally debriefing and attempting to pinpoint exactly why things went as well as they did. I've come up with five reasons:
1. It wasn't last summer. Summer 2011 wasn't a banner one for the Dolins. One hundred and twenty days above 90 degrees. Two non-swimmers. John in, ummm, a challenging season. A bored teenager. A husband working like a dog. Not a horrid summer, but not a great one.
2. This year I made a conscious decision to refrain from whining about the weather. A ten year drought lifted. No joke. Really, if I had known my paltry little whine-fast would alter the entire meteorological pattern of Augusta, believe me, I would have tried this long before now.
3. Our resident teenager had a variety of interesting and challenging opportunities. This was huge.
4. We joined a different pool, one that offers a lengthy shallow end for the little people and diving boards for the big people and lots of friends to hang out with.
5. John learned to swim. We bought Ainsley a puddle-jumper.
And this is all good, very good. But somewhere along the way, I splinched.
Even when it all goes well, summer has a certain intensity. A relaxed intensity in that we typically don't have deadlines and school bells and homework. But we're all together almost all of the time, and that alone can be intense.
In this world, there are introverts and there are extroverts; I would have to call myself a hybrid. I do not do well when I'm alone day after day. Isolation and cloudy weather are a particularly difficult combination for me.
But the opposite is also true.
When I'm never alone -- when I have to post rules detailing the circumstances in which my offspring can knock on the bathroom door -- when someone is nearly always right there needing or wanting something -- eventually, I splinch. Honestly, I don't think I've been alone of two hours since May.
When I splinch, I'm fairly sure the part I leave behind is my cerebral cortex.
I can't think.
You know those calls you get reminding you about a doctor's appointment? They irritate me, at least the ones that require you to call back and confirm the appointment all in some vaguely threatening voice. I already confirmed the appointment, I think to myself. I confirmed it when I made it. My tirade usually ends with the smug thought that it's been ten, maybe fifteen years since I've missed an appointment.
This summer I've missed two doctor's appointment and very nearly missed a third.