Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Things I learned this summer

Man, I cannot believe the summer is practically over. My summer, anyway. The rest of y'all still have like a month of it left. Actually, we down south have about 4 months of it left actually, so I win.

Ever since Lily and I moved to Louisiana - gasp! - four years ago, her dad and I concocted a harebrained yet workable arrangement which allows her to spend the school year with me, and the summer with him in New York.

It's a good deal, I think. Since I chose to take my kid and hightail it thousands of miles away from all of our family, I inadvertently put myself in a situation where I don't get a lot of relief at those times when I'm ready to lose myself in a single mama pity-party, so the summer, for the last three years anyway, has been a bit of a respite for me. OK more than a bit. It's fucking ruled.

Lil gets to go and live in the mountains and hang with her cousins; she enjoys healthy activities like swimming, tending her grandmother's vegetable garden, bonding with her dad, and generally cavorting the normal kid-in-the-summer way that our subtropical climate does not allow. I get to read more, not buy groceries, and join my boyfriend in bloody-mary-soaked brunches that sometimes extend to dinner time on Saturdays. My batteries get recharged and by the time fall rolls around, I've undergone a much-needed attitude adjustment and am ready to take it all on again.

The time apart is hard, make no mistake. It's very strange being a full-time single mother who is joined at the hip with her adored, possibly overindulged, attachment-parented offspring, and then suddenly being allowed to act like I did in my early twenties for a summer break. I go through the self-flagellation that goes along with letting ones nine-year old spend two months away from her. However, I think given the choice of a summer spent riding bikes outside and catching lightning bugs vs. two months sitting in some poorly air-conditioned rec room at the Y while the temperature outside verges on deep-fry, any fool would want the former for their kid. Since I work full time, and we live in a part of the country that has absolutely inhumanely high summer temperatures, it really is a no-brainer. New York it is.

The summer is also a nice time for me to reflect and allow myself to learn lessons that I otherwise might be too busy sticking my head up my own ass during the school year to figure out. Lke:

1. It's okay sometimes to drink alcohol at brunch, come home, take a nap, wake up, eat dinner, and binge-watch Netflix till bedtime. THIS IS GOOD FOR YOU.

3. You can make all the 'must do over the summer' lists you want in order to create the illusion of some sort of control over your life, but you will never get to everything. Maybe two things. One.

4. Since you have a kindle now and are all fancy and shit, and suddenly find yourself with a little extra time on your hands to read the 85 books on your Goodreads list, that doesn't mean it's wise to download a shit ton of them over the course of one month. Amazon ain't the library, dumbass . That shit adds up.

5. No matter how much you will it , your ex still isn't going to get his shit together and at least once in the coming school year you are going to be more than tempted to engage in that inevitable, icky exchange of hate-texts because he hasn't paid the school tuition. Try and stop yourself. Just pause…see if you can find that floating-in-a-sensory-deprivation-tank zen you reached this summer when your morning routine consisted solely of hitting snooze several times, slapping on some eyeliner, and driving to work while listening to NPR.
You can do it, girl. I know you can.

That's it for now. I get my little one back in two days. See y'all then.