It’s July tenth, Gentle Reader, July tenth. This summer is flying by. And even though we’re almost halfway through the season, I find myself struggling to get a good rhythm or routine.
I’m going to let you in on a little secret. I like routines. And schedules. And order. And organization. I do, I really, really do.
From high school until the birth of my second child I organized my closet with military precision. Short sleeved shirts were separated from long sleeve shirts. Then each category was further divided based on color and whether or not there was a collar. Books were arranged by genre and ordered alphabetically based on the author’s last name. Even the maps I pinned on my bedroom walls were placed with geographical logic and reasoning. Because India simply has no business mixing with South America.
I had to-do lists and schedules and systems for nearly every aspect of my life. It was orderly and it was lovely.
Then when my second child was born, I discovered I was vastly outnumbered by human beings who seemed to crave chaos and disorder. When I tried to teach them to put their toys away in a logical and systematic fashion, they looked at me with scorn and contempt. Blocks were thrown willy-nilly into the Little People drawer, books were callously mixed with puzzles. It was toy box anarchy. And I was too tired and over-worked to do much about it.
My to-do lists shriveled to the point where I would only put down: Keep Everyone Alive. That was it, my only job for the day, and it took every second of my time to accomplish.
Slowly and with great distress I let my closet organization go. Short sleeves mingled with long sleeves in a casteless clothing society. I let the pristinely alphabetized books go. I no longer cared where all the books were placed, my goal was simply to get the kids to stop eating them. And, finally, I let my waistline go (but that is a post for another day.)
Now that my kids are older, things are a bit easier, especially during the school year. We have a good rhythm and a decent system in place so that everyone is educated and fed in a timely manner.
But summers are another story, entirely. Summer days are an endless reeling from one activity to the next. “Mom, it’s after one, we’re starving!” “Mom, we have tennis practice in fifteen minutes!” “Mom, my library books are due today!”
By the end of the day, I feel very much like a Weeble. Remember those commercials? “Weebles wobble, but they don’t fall down!” By the end of the day, I’m definitely wobbly, but thus far, I have not fallen down.
Here’s the kicker. By the time August rolls by, I will have figured this crap out. I will know exactly where the bug spray and sunblock are at all times so I won’t have to keep buying new ones. I will remember every appointment and lesson, and we will start arriving five minutes early, rather than five minutes late. I will be systematic and structured and I will have found my summer groove.
I will have perfected it all, just to have our summer end a week or so later.
Oh summer, you heartless wench. Try to go easy on me. It’s only July tenth.