Friday, June 19, 2015

june 19th, 2015 at 7:23 pm

I have a memory of my dad drinking a beer in the shower. I didn't see him actually doing it- I saw the beer bottle balanced on the side of the tub, later.  This was during the D.A.R.E. era of the mid-nineties, and if I remember correctly, my younger sister had thrown such a terrified fit when she had seen the beer in his hand that he was drinking in the shower for refuge. (The D.A.R.E. effect also caused me to hide my grandmother's cigarettes in the crisper of our fridge, soaking and ruining them in the process. To her credit, she was more exasperated than pissed.  She was a good grandma.) But the beer bottle in the shower is something that has stuck with me, years and states and many bathrooms later.  My working-man dad, with dirt ingrained in the grooves of his hands and a holster for the pruning shears he used on the tree farm.  Coming home and rinsing off and playing a delicate little game of don't-let-the-glass-bottle-slip just so his daughters wouldn't lose their minds. I wonder if he was annoyed, or if he laughed and shook his head.  

Tonight I'm waiting for Ben to get home, and I'm also waiting for the school year to end and for everything to change.  I feel the pull of NEW at the beginnings and ends of summers, so much more so than when a new year starts.  My schedule is different, my intentions are redefined, my expectations are always so high.  This summer I will..get organized, lose weight, spend MEANINGFUL time with my children, see lots of friends.  Have a routine.  Eat less ice cream and watch less TV. Typical fresh-start mantras.  I'm only able to write at this moment because the boys passed out very early.  They skipped their naps at daycare.  This fills me with unholy terror.  If they give up their naps over the summer, I might lose my mind.

I packed my classroom today, more efficiently than ever before in my eight years of teaching.  I hit my step goal early and my muscles are sore, my skin sweaty.  I need to shave my legs and for some reason, I want to take a shower, right now, before Ben gets home and we flop on the couch, where we will stay until exhaustion takes us and we wake up in the early morning hours.  I never shower in the evening.  I never have that impulse- it lives outside of my routine.  Everything is in a shift right now.  Everything is a tiny bit fuzzy.  I'm going with it.

I know what my summer will probably consist of- wasting a lot of time checking my Twitter app.  Staging pictures of my kids being summer-glow adorable for Instagram.  Reading a lot of really good books on my back porch, one eye worriedly checking that both kids are in sight.  A few outings where I overestimate my ability to handle the distance/overnight/packing/lack-of-naps.  Some trips with friends (and one with my sisters and mother that I can't wait for).  A few walks.  A lot of ice cream and a lot of beer.  I'm going to try and find a routine but not beat myself up if it doesn't materialize.  I'm going to try and write a lot but not beat myself up if I want to daydream about my characters instead.  I'm going to go with the fuzzy, and not set up a rubric for success that guarantees my failure.

I'm going to open and beer and take it with me into the shower.

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