July 22, 2015 by Ellen V
I understand why kids go back to school the second week of August here. The days are long and hot, and summer seems kind of endless. In the small and large towns of the Midwest, where I’ve spent every other summer I can remember, there are places to ride bike and baseball leagues and sidewalk chalk and fire pits. Here, it’s a steamy rainforest, and most people are just hiding from the sun. Maybe there are folks who get together after dark and enjoy the brief cool before it heats up again, but those folks are not me and my early-to-bed babies.
I’ve been working to put labels on what has made summer a little hard on me since we’ve been back. I think Remembering Our Move is one label, all the good byes and the fear of having a new baby in a foreign place. Another label is Isolation, since we have no neighbors at all, and it might be filed right next to Loneliness since our location often means I have to work to make sure I encounter other adults in my day. And maybe another label is plain old Preschoolers and Babies Make For Long Days. That one’s pretty self-explanatory.
The best gift I gave myself for the summer was budgeting some childcare in, even though we anticipated limited income. Sidney goes to her regular sitters on Tuesdays, and it’s such a blessing for everyone. She keeps up her relationship with Chasity, and it keeps the rest of us in regular contact with her, too. I’ve gotten care arranged for Jane on those days, too, and it’s given me some freedom to get out and about at least that one day a week.
I try to plan something most other days: we’ve extended dinner invitations to just about everyone we know, and most have taken us up on it by now, a day trip to the park or to pop in on Eric at work, a family outing for all of us (or even just one of us and Jane) in the evening to look forward to. And while we committed long ago to making sure Eric has plenty of work time this summer, he’s been great about being flexible so that the fun stuff can happen.
The sunsets are slowly getting earlier and they are truly just gorgeous lately. They remind me of the coming autumn and the joys and frustrations that will come with it.