Sunday, August 7, 2011


Trying to squeeze in one more week of a new summer camp before the school year starts might not have been my best move. Of course, at the time I made that decision, summer looked like a vast expanse of sweet freedom and opportunity, and this one week of Sport and Aquatics camp sat on the top like a shiny red cherry. So that’s how I got to be here, swimming in emails, visual schedules, thank you notes, 11-yr-old birthday party to-dos, registration materials and school supplies for the upcoming year, and my own grief over the loss of that sweet expanse of freedom.

Mixed with that grief, is the sense that my sons’ childhoods are pouring through my fingertips with careless abandon. The boys seem all legs now, where once little rounded pot bellies used to dwell. I can recall when they used to raise their arms above their heads to be picked up and their pudgy fingers would barely extend past their heads. Now they don’t ask to be picked up so much, though occasionally a sticky hand will still press into my palm, and I find myself gazing in awe at the very length of them as they lay in bed. I catch glimpses of manhood in the breadth of their shoulders and the blonde but increasingly ample hair sprouting from their calves. There is celebration in this too of course—their health, their humor, and their increasing sense of place in the world—but right now, I don’t feel like celebrating. I will cry and grieve and get down to the serious work of preparing for one more week of summer camp, and then…I’m gonna take the boys swimming. It is still summer after all.


  1. Hello to the boys on the air mattress and to their mom. I have happy memories of trying to catch a raccoon with you, a raccoon who still digs up gardens should someone think that burying compost in them is a good way to trick raccoons. We had a wet summer -- so much so that I didn't have to put hoses around the property to keep the grass green. David misses lots of company, for we have had a slim summer of cousins living with us. We can only hope things will change next year.

  2. Unforgettable descriptions of mothering. From one who still enjoys the potbelly along with the lengthening leg hair. My son has specifically commented on his leg hair with pride. I notice the long legs most when I am brushing his teeth, or he tries to curl up inside the jacket I am wearing when the evening breeze gets too cool for his unclad legs. Your post is making me rethink the two week Circus Camp that will be in French and will focus on juggling. In retrospect, this may be a dream-idea to me, but perhaps a different night-reverie for him. Thanks for the heads-up. Will not enroll.

  3. Arta & Bonnie, Hugs to you both. I am there in spirit.