Tuesday, September 04, 2012


The bags were packed. They were ready to go. The gang of four started school today.

For those of you who wondered why I had fallen off the face of the electronic world, first, thank you for your concern. Second, let me site three reasons for Internet silence:

1. We were in Michigan and Canada for about three weeks.

2. We returned just in time for a three day frenzy of uniform and supply shopping

3. I've been splinched.

Regarding the third reason, Harry Potter aficionados will recognize the term "splinched." Splinching occurs when one attempts to magically move from one destination to another, a process called apparating. When apparating, one should remember the three D's -- destination, determination, and I can't remember the third one which may explain why I keep splinching.

The result of splinching is that some body part -- ranging from a leg to an eyebrow -- gets left behind.

I've done a lot of moving this summer -- home to mountains, home to Michigan, Canada to home. I've facilitated a lot of moves -- Dave and Tim to Boy Scout Camp, Tim to Boot Camp, Tim to a vocations' retreat. And while in town, we've moved quite a bit as well. Mostly home to pool, pool to home.

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.


I can not think.

While vacationing in Michigan and Canada, I had a dozen thoughts I wanted to write about, but most of the trip involved grandparents and aunts and uncles and lots and lots of cousins. It's wonderful, and it's intense. And I couldn't string two sentences together. Rather than fighting it, I simply recognized my splinched state of mind, put people before things, and enjoyed our vacation.

I've now been alone for one hour. The kitchen is clean. My fingers are typing. Blogger is acting up rather badly. I'm hoping that as I once again take possession of my cerebral cortex, I can sort this mess out.

Maybe then I'll reschedule my dental appointment.


Kris said...

Glad you had a great summer. And welcome back! Now I can stop obsessively checking to see if you've posted. Not that I'm stalking or anything...!

Kelly said...

Kris, you are too sweet! Hope you had a great summer as well.