Despite time moving more slowly than ever—and feeling entirely different since my mother’s death—it’s June somehow. I shake my head every time I’m reminded of this fact. The end of the school year has come and gone; my son is no longer a kindergartener. That alone makes me feel nostalgic, emotional, and a few others things.
I have a tendency of retreating into myself when things get hard, and Things. Are. Hard. But I don’t want to do that this time. My mom would hate it—she would hate to know how much I’ve shut friends and family out already. If anything, I need to lean into the season ahead with a renewed sense of immediacy because I don’t know if you’ve heard, but tomorrow isn’t guaranteed.
Summer twenty-nineteen is upon us.
It’s not hard to picture the coming months. If I close my eyes I can easily picture fingers sticky from popsicles, iced coffee under the back patio, blowing bubbles in the pool, the smell of hot dogs and corn on the grill, our feet in the sand like the above photo of DJ from last August. Dominic trimming the palm trees shirtless, DJ whacking at plastic golf balls with plastic sticks, me complaining about the 107° (or higher) temperatures, the camera never too far from reach. But beyond this my plans are centered around self-care: reading, writing (in whatever form comes most naturally) and trying to reel in my caffeine consumption.
I suppose what I want the most out of summer is for it to move slowly. I want to be present for every moment, to notice everything I may have missed in the past. To put my phone down or better yet away. To switch off my work email at the end of a long day. To say yes to DJ’s every request. This has got to be a season of yes.
There are plans in motion already: ten days in Canada with DJ this month—a trip we had booked back in January so that my parents could have a solid amount of time with their grandson–, day camps, trips to the lake with the jet ski’s. Dominic and I lie in bed at night daydreaming about getting out to La Jolla again while simultaneously laughing because we know it will be a struggle with his work schedule. It’s important to dream though. To keep the hope alive that we can make it work in the end.
The last thing I want is to send my son off to school in August wishing that we had done more, been more messy, had more fun. I want him to look back on his summer break with a smile on his face. What’s more: I want the same for myself. Especially—especially—this summer.