It Never Fails . . .

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. . that on the fist night of summer, and no matter how old I get, I feel like I’m still eighteen. I feel like I have ten weeks ahead of me to do everything I need to do before everyone goes off to college. I feel like I want to stay out too late, party too much, and drive in cars that go too fast.  I feel like I want to walk on train tracks, throw rocks in rivers, go to mid-day movies, and spend hours doing nothing at all.  I feel like I want to sleep in late, go to the beach mid-day, and come home too late for supper.  I feel like I want to hang out around a camp fire long past mid-night and sing out-of-key Pearl Jam songs.

This summer, I’m going to get about as close as I’ve come to that in sixteen (sixteen!?!?!) years.  The way life works out, the boys are still in day care for the summer, and I’m taking two one-week classes, but other than that – other than that, I’m doing therapy, acupuncture, and yoga, as much as I can fit in, till I’m summoned back to work. I’m doing long days by myself on errands, I’m doing grocery shopping all. on. my own.  I’m going to the bank, without hitting up the drive-through. I’m going to spend hours in bookstores.  I’m going to pick strawberries and turn them into jam, all in one day. I’m actually going to can everything I can get my hands on.  I’m going to find a river, and I’m going to throw rocks in it.  If there is a trestle within thirty miles, I will sit on it. Though, I probably won’t jump off of it into the murky river below – I have learned a little something in the last sixteen (sixteen!?!?!?!) years.   I’m going to sit on the beach and read books all. day. long. I will go to the movies at ten in the morning, or maybe one in the afternoon.

It all seems so decadent, so terribly middle class, so tucked in freedom undeserved by mothers. But me, I’m over it. I have had the worst year of my life, I have been barely holding myself up straight for the last three months, I have celebrated each day I could get out of bed as if it was a master’s degree – I have swallowed more tears in the middle of more classes and lectures than I care to admit.  I don’t even know if anyone could see, see how I was walking around in pieces, barely held together by some superglue like magic.  Mama said, “fake it till you make it” – and me, I’ve been faking it for going on a while now. So now, now, I’m giving myself permission to have a great fall, and hoping it doesn’t take all the king’s horses, and all the king’s men to put me back together again.

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