It's hard to admit that summer is over when you live in Fresno California. It's still hot. Like over one hundred degrees hot. We go back to school in shorts and tank tops and we laugh at the excitement of Pumpkin Spice Lattes. Because it won't be cool until November. At least.
If I could, I would extend summer. I really want to. I feel like this is the summer that escaped me. The summer that I was too tired to live, to tired to breathe, too tired to do anything. The summer that is over, and I feel like I have nothing to show.
This was the first summer I worked since before becoming a mother. It's the first summer I've had to work since my kids were in school. It was weird. My retail schedule did allow for sleeping in, but my kids still had to be shuttled in the hot Fresno sun to caregivers. I had to remain on a schedule of work and mommy, and then working mommy. That was new, and weird, and if I'm honest uncomfortable. It was the first summer I felt like I was missing out.
It was a summer where I was left feeling like we all missed out.
I didn't have a plan for this summer, or a bucket list. I just had one thing I really wanted to do. Just one thing. The beach. I just wanted to take the girls to the beach. Our little piece of heaven, that we enjoy every summer. It's not fancy, and we usually have a picnic of fast food or sandwiches, but we play and laze in the sand. The girls splash in the water and collect shells, and when we leave we are peaceful, refreshed.
The Hubbs and I had conflicting work schedules. And by the second week in August it wasn't in the cards. And I was defeated.
Defeated could have been my word this summer. Defeated because I had to work. Defeated because I was so tired. Defeated because I was defeated. I realize it wasn't fair to my family, but it's what I was. I wasn't fair to myself either. I wanted to write but couldn't, I spent days with my nose in a book or my ass in a chair watching DVR'd shows that I'd seen a million times. Anything to pretend summer wasn't happening.
But it was happening. It did happen.
My hope is that my kids will remember the little things. The fun we had on the fourth of July. The wild party for Caitlin's seventh birthday. I hope their favorite memories are of days spent wandering Target with no agenda and lunch at Panera. Maybe they will look back at ice cream for dinner fondly, or spending late nights outside with the neighbors. When you are seven and four, you know your mom spent the summer working, but you tend to forget that when you also spent the summer in Grandma's pool, and with the neighbors walking the two blocks to the new frozen yogurt place.
I had a case of the summertime blues. I let the circumstances get in the way of my happiness. Sometimes the circumstances seem so big, seem so important but they are not. We had a good summer. We were together. We read books and painted collages and baked a few batches of cookies so mommy could eat her feelings. And while I would have rather been spending the days poolside with my kids, I realize I need to just embrace the circumstances sometimes. The summertime blues didn't mean that I was unhappy, they just meant that I wanted more. I always want more, I always want the best, I always want perfection.
My summer wasn't postcard perfect, but neither is my life. And even though we didn't get to the beach, I'll take this summer for all it's worth. Because no matter the circumstances, this summer was worth it.