By Kelly Hines
My friend once said ‘May is for mothering.’ Between end of school parties and awards and graduations and recitals, May is certainly, overwhelmingly, for Mothering.
I have spent the past couple of weeks in a state of goofy almost-doneness, pitting responsibility against warm days and sandboxes and four o’clock beers. I took the kids to ice cream for no other reason than it was Wednesday and we had nothing better to do. Then, in an effort to negate my coolness, I let my teenager hurt my feelings and let her know it, and cried and said the truest thing I’ve ever said –
“No one will ever love you as much as your mommy does.”
Heavy knowledge for a fifteen year old, though likely not believed. And then I felt silly and blamed it on blood sugar and made her kiss me, twice.
I don’t know what is wrong with me. It could be the busyness, it could be that this month is the anniversary of my father’s death (though I always say it is just another day and, after nearly a dozen years, shouldn’t it be?), it could be that my OCD is cycling I am doing battle with it, armed with Comet and a toothbrush.
It could just be that I am ready for summer and time spent blowing bubbles and sitting in the sun, instead of driving to activities and trying to cram quality time in between homework and bedtime.
Sometimes, in summertime, the pool is a good enough bath.
Bedtime is negotiable.
Lunch can be a popsicle.
The table outside will be covered in the assorted detritus of fun – wet towels and flip flops and foam noodles – and I will turn out the light and lock the door and think, ‘I’ll pick that up tomorrow,’ and not feel the least bit irresponsible.
Sometimes, in summertime, you can do that.
Sometimes, in summertime, you can ignore emails and phone calls and let things slide a little bit. You can go to bed smelling like sunshine and sunscreen and taste chlorine when you kiss your babies goodnight. You can grill out (again) and have sleepovers (again) and stay up way too late (again). You can wake up to the sun streaming through your windows, instead of crickets still chirping. There is a blissful abundance of time.
I still have a few weeks of real life and lunches and ceremony. I will spend it with a perpetual lump in my throat for the passing milestones, and an eye on June.
Summer, I am waiting.