If the sticks in the backyard outlining our future pea-gravel walkway are any indication, there could be some incoming turbulence in my summer of leisure.
My wife is an art teacher, which means she is very creative. But she is also very industrious. Her last workday before summer break was May 29. When I got home from work on May 30, I saw new mulch, a re-arranged back porch, an organized garage, a new spreadsheet up on the computer detailing the boys’ summer camps, and those rows of sticks going from the stairs of the back deck to the gate in the fence.
Our boys are typically knee-deep in activities. At one point we realized that our oldest boy was in six different after-school activities — he kept asking, and we kept signing him up. We’ve since capped him at four.
The school year claims most weeknights and weekends, leaving a scant evening or Sunday afternoon where we stare at each other and wonder what to do with all the free time. It’s kind of like clinging to a bullet-train where you have a vague idea where it’s going, but you’re doing everything you can to make sure you stay on-board and in as orderly a fashion as is possible. Then finally the train slams to a stop, and that’s called summer.
All of a sudden, weeknights and weekends are wide open. Last summer was our first in our new house, which we bought as a fixer-upper. So I spent sun-up on Saturday to sundown on Sunday fixing it up. After a summer like that, I was looking forward to getting off that train this year and setting up shop in fun-land. In fact, I was so proud of the work I did last year that I declared out loud that this would be my summer of leisure. I have dreams of hanging out at the neighborhood pool playing bocce ball with our friends. Going camping. Golfing a Saturday or two. My mind really hasn’t even begun to wander yet.
But driving home and seeing what Brenda had done to the house on only her first day of summer showed me that her mind wasn’t wandering at all. If my first move for summer is to head to the pool with the boys and a cooler, hers was to roll up her sleeves and initiate the myriad of projects that have been piling up in the back of her mind. And there is the divide.
It’s hard to head to the pool when your wife is hauling 20 lb bags of pea gravel. My guilty conscience starts to act up (I’m Catholic after all).
So that’s kind of it. There’s no real message here, nor is there any breaking news, or insightful data on the real estate market. I’m just writing this to say that if you see me over the weekend with a full load of supplies at Home Depot this summer, kidnap me and take me to the pool. Or a Braves game. Or a golf course. Because I have declared this the summer of leisure!