Oh, Summer. You with your promise of endless hours that somehow never materialize when it comes to actually getting something done around here. Why does this promise only exist in the head of those once “too busy”, now “so bored”. Summer, I would give you a giant slice of seedless watermelon followed by a trip to Dairy Queen if you would allow me the pleasure of experiencing what bored feels like. And for the record, I don’t mean that feeling I get when forced to watch animated movies at the cinema. I want to know what it feels like to literally not have a single thing to accomplish or check off my list. I’m going to the beach soon. Perhaps we can meet there between the boardwalk and the ocean. I’ll be the one wearing the ridiculous hat that ages me at least ten years and once again, transforms me into my mother. Not that there’s anything wrong with that.
Summer, this year I decided to take a page from my friend Tara’s parenting 101 toolkit. I now leave chore lists written on bright blue memo paper for each of the kids every morning. These same kids claim to have no time to help out during the busy school year. These lists make so few appearances during the winter months, that I feel out of practice. I wrote at the bottom of one such list today: Take a shower. Really? Even someone without fourteen years of mothering experience can see right through that one. I’m grasping at straws here, and the kids know it. It wouldn’t surprise me to see one of them scrawl “Watch TV” as the final to-do item.
I like you, Summer. I want to be friends, but I need you to hold up your end of our agreement. You will not kill me with your heat, your wasps, your parade of highly caloric treats in the form of ice cream. You will not mock my thirty-nine year old thighs when they make their milky white appearance. You will not allow those who should enjoy you, waste the precious gift of your time by staring trance-like at the Disney channel or re-runs of Lost. You will give us the gift of boredom, of fat green leaves dancing on branches, of horses snorting across the fields, of sand and bare legs and sunshine. And I, I promise to make you into a memory, a thumbprint on the brains of my bored children. I will capture you in their mind’s eye, and while they may forget the details of your days, they will remember the way you made them feel–like their life is one of endless hours filled with infinite possibilities.