Summer of My Discontent

This summer did not turn out the way I planned it in my head. Early in the Spring, I began researching day camps and programs my kid might enjoy. Any parent who’s spent any time piecing together a summer schedule knows the agony of making all the puzzle pieces fit. The biggest trick to that is to stick to a semi-reasonable budget.

A handful of the plans I made didn’t turn out the way I thought they would. I made a typical parent mistake: I planned a summer for him that *I* would have loved. But he doesn’t love the same kinds of things that I did when I was his age.

So for one reason or another, several weeks that were supposed to filled with fantastic summer fun turned out to be Jackson at home with me. The plans I made for some creative work I wanted to do, didn’t pan out. It’s hard to get much writing done with a kid who asks 4,378 questions per hour is in the same confined space.

And so I did what any rational human would do under the circumstances. I had a complete come apart. There was a lot of crying. A lot guilt. A lot of blaming myself for his less than blissful summer. A lot of pissed off that I wasn’t having the fabulous summer I wanted for myself.

One of friends was talking about something completely different when he jokingly referred to my health ailments as “thoroughly middle-class problems. You know, you don’t hear a lot of people in developing countries worried about TMJ or IBS.” Which is entirely true. Also, it’s nice perspective.

My disappointment with my summer plans is not actually a real problem. We have a home. We have reliable transportation. We have the ability to earn enough money to live comfortably. We are healthy. And my son is, in fact, having a grand summer.

Jackson in Jackson Square in New Orleans

Jackson in Jackson Square in New Orleans

Buddies on the bayou

Buddies on the bayou

Star Wars birthday party

Star Wars birthday party

Fourth of July with friends. Son, no weapons at the table!

Fourth of July with friends.
Son, no weapons at the table!

California beach time with family

California beach time with family

Legoland theme and water park in California

Legoland theme and water park in California

soccer camp

soccer camp

We’ve visited Louisiana to a friend’s plantation and New Orleans. We vacationed in California for Legoland and beach time with family. He had a super fun birthday party, despite some rain. We’ve spent time with friends for holidays and other play dates. He went to a soccer camp that he loved, and another hysterically funny buddy was there too. This is NOTHING to complain about. We’ve also still got some more fun things on the calendar before school starts back.

My discontent with how things turned out was an issue only in my head. In reality, we are blessed beyond measure. And he really *is* having a super fun summer.

I won’t lie. Even though I’ve come to terms with my disappointment about his summer plans, I’m still a little sad I didn’t get the writing time I had hoped for. That’s a pretty big loss to me. But school starts in three weeks. So maybe I can carve out time then.

In the meantime, we’ve hired a sitter for part of the summer that’s left. It’s a friend’s oldest son. He is beyond fantastic. He likes to go to the pool and play video games with Jackson. My kid things he just scored the best friend ever.

Every day he’s been here, he picks up my house. And he makes Jackson pick up all the toys they played with and put them in the playroom. I never told him that was his job. He just does it because he’s a considerate human being. What’s the word I’m looking for here? WINNING!

And so it goes. The victories and disappointments get mixed up together. It’s what we call life. As usual, the bulk of angst was in my head, not in reality. It’s not the summer I planned. But in the end, it’s been a really good summer.

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