The summer is a time of relaxation by a pool, for sunkissed hair, freckled shoulders and white shell jewelry. I’m enjoying the simple luxuries of linen v-neck tees (I actually found myself doing an internet search hoping to find a comparison between Calypso & J.Crew brands: none existed. I now have both and can tell you, without a doubt Calypso wins if you’re looking for a thicker, more substantial tee, which is why they’re pricier). It’s August now, and while I’ve at least enjoyed (3, sliced) peaches soaked Sauvignon Blanc (1 bottle), with just a hint of sugar (1/4 c), mostly I feel as if I’m drowning.
I am dreading the start of school come September because I am dreading schedules of enrichment. No, wait. I dread the pressure I feel to enroll my children in activities from extra “reading and math tutoring,” Hebrew school, piano lessons, chess, ice skating, swimming, art class, to tennis to soccer. The truth is, my kids tried soccer, and neither of them liked it. We sent them to camp again this summer, where they go zip-lining and do trapeze, and I ask the counselor, “Yes, but do you do any normal stuff, so I know what sports or activities they might like, what to enroll them in during the school year?” And they do, tennis, kickball, volleyball, hockey, but when I ask my kids, I get shrugs. They aren’t wild about any of it. They don’t really care. We’re fine with that, as long as they do something during the year that keeps their bodies healthy and active. They’re not crazy about dance or gymnastics either. They’ll participate in anything, sure, but do they love it, any of it? No, no, and no.
I’ve signed them both up for Karate, which we all feel good about, so that’s a start. I’d like to sign them both up for a swim team, too. We have a beautiful piano in our home, so we should probably get on the whole piano lessons thing. But aren’t they absolute TORTURE? I feel like it’s utter hell, FOR ME. Mustn’t I sit there with them and force them to practice? Oh, it sounds awful and I haven’t even signed them up yet. I’m too lazy for this shit. I CAN’T. I just can’t. I don’t want to do this to myself. No one, by the way, has taught these kids to RIDE A BIKE. I swear, Netflix offers kids educational movies on everything under the Tuscan Sun, but you can’t teach a kid this, can you now?
I have not taught them to do it. PHIL has not taught them. They have outgrown their bikes. They need new ones. I taught them to read. I teach them math. NOW is the time. Who is teaching them this skill? Hello? Why does Phil keep looking at me? Hello? Fine. I will go buy the bikes if you speak nothing of the bills that follow. Oh, and our gated community has no sidewalks. Nice. Hello parking lot hell. I’ve also heard that to teach a child to ride a bike, you much teach them to coast, remove the pedals, and let them learn to glide-ride. Joy.
July has definitely been filled with remarkable moments. I need to make more of an effort to make more of them. Because the moments I’ve relished have often been simple.
Spaghetti night with a trip to the farm beforehand for tomatoes & basil, then Rosemary Clooney Radio
Night picnics with wine, cheese, meats
Botanical Garden – Arthur Avenue afterward
Eating at hole-in-the-wall favorite restaurants with favorite friends
This month, I want to plan more outings of enrichment with friends and family, more hands-on opportunities to experience new places and things. This month, already I’m scheduled to go camping with Abigail. I’d like to go camping as a family, too, because Lucas wants to go, too. We need to convince Phil.