Wednesday, August 20, 2008

The Summer of My Sons

Summer's great, isn't it? It's like suddenly, for a few months anyway, it's okay to be lazy. Sloth rules. You can almost feel the foggy, sleepy haze oozing out of our own craniums, soaking into everyday life, compelling us to watch mindless cable television and overlook basic rules of personal hygiene and low-salt diets, scratching our where-evers and snuggling on the couch with a beloved bag of chips.

We've been setting the snooze alarm on Life, letting the sun rise and set without us, knowing our bank account's stocked chock full of lazy days. We've been telling Time to move on without us, murmuring that we'll catch up later. But now we're fast approaching the end of the summer, and, like that last sprinkled donut that your brother took when you weren't looking, it's gone and never coming back. Much like, hopefully, the analogies in this paragraph.

My sons were already 9 and 11 and I'd never taken big, lazy, chunks of time with them. To sit, to stay, to just be. Usually I'd miss all this summer stuff, this non-doing. Instead I'd whisk out the door early, off to work in a carpeted box to push numbers around. As a working mom, yes, time was precious, but my boys' time should have trumped work time. With a little luck and a gentle push, boys are not boys forever. Hopefully they mature and, like it or not, eventually move on.

As fate would have it, I was now home. Not much money, but mercifully plenty of time to finally get to know my sons. If they would just, for the love of Morpheus, wake the heck up.

Vacation isn't so much a where but a who. I've gone to extravagant places with people I'd prefer to never see again. And I've crashed on the couch with the most incredible characters. This summer, with my sons, we didn't go anywhere but to each other. And it was great.
We hung out. We slept. We wallowed. We slept some more.

I highly recommend wallowing. Nothing defines summer better than a languid wallow, wrapped in slothful ennui, and smothered in idle sauce. And if you can do it whilst being aware of your own lethargy, realizing how amazingly decadent you are while still in the moment, even better. Bonus points are awarded for gloating. But keep it humble, please. Too much wallow-joy approaches the realm of making an effort, something frowned upon during the summer doldrums. A simple, righteous "Yessss!" while you dribble Dorito crumbs down your shirt is enough of an understated celebration to acknowledge this subtle yet sacred event.

We did do a few things, ventured out to the beach, the park, the pizza place. Just to put perspective on our wallowing, of course. You can't fully recognize the real power of sloth unless you give it contrast by running around like maniacs for a bit. Then the stillness is outstanding even more.

This world of 'do-do' we live in very nearly became my undoing. The daily freeway dance of the commuter lemmings is no place to spend all your heartbeats. Luckily, thanks to my newfound wallowing ways, my life savings is finally full of summer memories. We're rich in a most splendid, if corny, way. Now if only I could get paid for wallowing...


WriterDude said...

Annie, if you keep writing like this, you will.

(Do I still get credit for coaxing you back out of the cave and into writing again?)

(If so, I want a cut.)

Annie said...

Aaaw, thanks, writerdude. Yes, you get credit. Yes, you will get cut. Er, get A cut.

HTF said...

I stumbled across your blog through Dave Barry's blog comments. I read a few posts and I'm an immediate fan. I'll be back. Thanks for sharing!