I’ve decided that if this summer were a candy, it would be taffy. Salt water taffy – since I live along the coast.
Why taffy? Because for me, this summer was both sweet and sticky. Sweet because I got to spend time with my little boy, and I cherish that. I know full well that soon he won’t want to spend so much time with his mama. With that awareness, the little details of our life – taking him to his swimming lessons, his soccer, his tumbling class, playing games, reading stories, taking walks, playing on the beach, all becomes even more precious. Because I got so much time with him, this summer was wonderful. That time is the sweet and delicious part of the taffy.
But then there’s the sticky part. I’m not only a full-time mom, I’m also a writer and I have deadlines I need to meet, books that must be written, and the pressure to write better and more books on my shoulders. We very much need the money that my books bring in, yet this summer I had no actual time built into my schedule to write them. Not by oversight, but because my son isn’t mature enough for day camps and unfamiliar places and counselors with great intentions but little training. And we can’t afford a nanny or babysitter. So writing happened on the weekends, and in the cracks of dawn, and in the evenings if I could keep my eyes open long enough to churn out some words.
Thus the stickiness. The pressure to write, and to earn, that made all the chores and the long hours of child care feel like my summer taffy had melted on the hot pavement and stuck to my shoes, and was keeping me from moving forward in my career with its multiple tendrils of sticky, housewifely goo.
It occurred to me today, that while we are sold this idea that summer is for relaxation and fun, it just doesn’t feel that way to me. Maybe I’m a bad mama, but right now fall seems a lot more relaxing! My son will be back at school and I can work while he’s there and maybe even find a moment or two just for myself. I can’t wait to move forward with my writing again and wipe all that sticky summer taffy off my shoes.
But then my heart aches a little, because I know I will miss the sweetness…