By the time Halloween hits, we’re already thinking about Thanksgiving. Christmas, even. In September we welcome fall, buying “Leaves” candles and changing our door wreath. Cider follows, then the salted caramel, and at last, the peppermint hot chocolate takes over. We’re in JULY, and already I find myself skipping my summer wardrobe entirely, shopping for new autumn clothes, scents, and colors. Fall product launches. When did July become September? When I let it.
The sky looked as if an inkwell had tipped into a glass of water
On my way to pick up the kids yesterday, a mantle of blooming backlit clouds darkened the roads. Once I’d arrived at camp, it still hadn’t rained. While I waited for the beans in the parking lot, the clouds burst into a downpour, turning everything white. Yet, no animals scattered, counselors didn’t seem to take cover, shirts weren’t pulled over heads. My kids, I knew, were prepared, as I’d loaded each of their bags with a child-sized poncho (FYI: a bitch to find – Camping section of Target). As I waited for them to be escorted to my car from the main building, I wondered if it was raining only on my car, as though I were a doomed cartoon character. On the edge of the lot, there’s a fenced basketball court with a dozen college-aged men, half skins, half shirts. Not once did they flinch or wince from the sky’s outburst. They continued to dribble, block and shoot, racing up the court after a rebound. Their bare chests glossy, as if they’d been dipped in oil. I felt like a grandparent. I’m not sure if I said it aloud, but I thought, “Well, would ya look at that.”
My own kids came marching down the hill with their tongues out
Looking to drink the rain, hair sopped, clothes dripping, then smiles of sunshine. Abigail looked like a wet mouse, Lucas like a lizard. They wanted to play in it. At what point to do we no longer take pleasure in rolling down a hill? When do we stop trying to catch a snowflake on our tongue? I wanted to yell, “What are you doing? Get in here!” Knowing they’d leave wet markings all over the car’s interior, that they’d now have to change clothes right away, more work for me. I didn’t yell. Mostly because I was acutely aware of how old I sounded, how old I’ve become. I was already steps ahead in my mind, anticipating the work ahead instead of enjoying the moment. I’d like to say I ran out into the rain to join them. I did not. I think I’d only really enjoy being drenched if I’d been running or breaking up with someone. Still, I was at least able to be present, to appreciate the moment in the making, complete with dry ponchos tucked into their wet bags.
By the way, this is what I write when I truly can’t think of anything to write.