This is it. The official last day of Summer 2012. The last quiet, unscheduled Monday I'll see for quite some time.
And here I sit. I'm currently sitting out on the Golden Girls porch, iced coffee and Walter by my side. Three of my four angels are snoozing away, the fourth is (hopefully) doing the same at our neighbor's house after squeezing that last sleepover out of both the summer and the neighbor boy's parents.
There are a million and ten things I should be, could be doing right now. Maybe a million and fifteen. There's laundry to be done, pencils to be rounded up and sharpened, a house that positively reeks of summer and should be aired out and febreezed and straightened up. There are vestiges of a graduation party, still, out in the backyard and scattered around the house (I have all of these picture collages, people, it seems almost sacrilegious to dismantle them). I haven't even begun my "what am I going to wear to work" panic yet. Don't get me started about the looks Walter is giving me...his chocolate brown eyes wavering between me and his leash that's hanging on the garage door knob.
And still...here I sit. It almost seems like one of those wistful, melancholy moments, where you know something is about to change forever. Like the night before you have a baby, and you spend those last few hours with hands pressed against the sides of your belly, feeling for little heels to slide by under your fingertips, for a tiny tush to bump up, just one last time.
This was a good summer. We didn't do much of anything, we didn't even get up to my BFF's cabin this year.
This summer, my dad took all three boys to "work" with him a few days a week. And he worked them hard. They helped him maintain some of his rental properties. Two boys who don't like to work, and one who loves it would come home with paint and tar splattered clothes, green shoes from mowing lawns, sweaty heads and a check from Papa clutched in their hot little hands.
This summer, Molly got her first job. She and her own BFF worked 30-40 hours a week schlepping gyros and tzatziki sauce at an Egyptian restaurant in our local mall's food court. My daughter smells like onions and garlic but the confidence she's gained (not to mention her fat bank account) are amazing.
And me? This summer I did a lot. I took control of my destiny and my diet. Lost some weight, got a new job. Met a few fabulous new friends, hung out with a bunch of the fabulous old ones. Began what will hopefully become a book, if not a book then a really great family memoir that is sure to mortify my kids and someday, their kids as well. Had a couple rolls in the hay, and met my new hair stylist. Those last two, by the way, didn't happen simultaneously. Separate events.
This summer, the shadow of that snarly, paunchy ex-husband of mine didn't block out too much of the sun. Oh sure, we are still exchanging blows in the child support battle- at this point we look like two boxers at the end of a bloody, exhausting match, torn between holding each other up and trying to get one last swing in before the bell dings. But I have learned to be patient, I have discovered that what doesn't kill you really does make you stronger (and funnier). I have learned that money, and the things it buys, can't hold a candle to love (although I have yet to discover how to get love into the gas tank of a car).
This summer I had the good fortune of seeing my eldest child finish high school, and watched as his family and friends gathered to celebrate that with him. That kid has been to hell and back, and for the first time in I don't know how long, I am not dreading the upcoming school year with him.
This summer was brutally hot, and I discovered that the air conditioning in my sweet little car didn't work...but I also discovered that kids don't ask you to drive them as many places if it means going there in a tiny silver microwave.
This summer I ate so many pounds of pulled pork BBQ that I'm now convinced I used to be a fat Southern man in a past life. My apologies to both the pig I ate and any fat Southern men who may be reading this. Who knew I liked pork so much?
Summer of 2012, thank you. There wasn't anything wildly unusual about you, nor did you dazzle me with any new tricks or jazz hands, but you were a good and a kind summer. You didn't knock me over with any bad news, you didn't bowl me over with any spectacularly great news. You were even keeled, you were gentle.
You were a good summer.