Perched on the Cusp

Here in the finally-thawed Northeast, we still have about six weeks of school left. Six weeks is a long time. That’s still a lot of homework and boxtops and lunches. Dear God, the fucking lunches.

But with the warmer weather and the endless barrage of camp ads coming at me, begging me to get my shit together and figure out how to avoid nine weeks of “I’mmmmm borrrrred,” the summer is beckoning. The shorts are slowly replacing the pants in our wardrobes. The grill is moving from a covered snow receptacle to the promise of an actual, food preparation mechanism (soon). Hell, it’s even time to reject the local CSA with a big “I don’t fucking think so” after last year’s death-by-produce-overdose.

And so here we sit, somewhere in limbo. The homework is growing so very tiresome. The reading logs never die. The after-school schlepping is practically on sad auto-pilot, begging for an end date.

It’s an odd time of the year. I’m sort of halfway to the land of mentally checked out, dreaming up summer vacations and outdoor dinners and warm nights with white wine on the deck. It lingers there, within reach. Summer is so, so close. And with that comes the promise of looser rules, bended bedtimes and fewer commitments. I can taste it.

But I also have a lifelong problem with transitions and fearing that some delightful stretch of time is almost over before it has even begun. I can dread the end of a vacation before I’ve even arrived there. I mourn when Christmas is over as I’m still wrapping gifts and waiting for Santa. I read about the importance of being present and it does nothing because I’m already reading the next paragraph. It’s a giant character flaw.

So I like the cusp of things the best. The eve of an event. The anticipation just before it happens because then it can’t yet be over. It’s still ahead of me, with all of its promise.


And that’s where I stand right now, on the cusp of summer. It is barreling toward us and we can’t wait. We earn that time, damn it – we pay for it with nine months of homework and carpools and schedules. With months of winter coats and layers and polar vortex-y claustrophobia.

And this is our reward, our respite, our reboot.

But as much as I wish it here, I don’t. Because it truly, magically flies. And then my kids will be a grade older and everything changes all over again.

I’m not ready to think of them at the next level – third grade and first grade (in the same school, for the first time ever) and the baby in pre-school. {Shut up, I’m not crying.}

I want to hold onto them in their sunscreen-slathered, chlorinated glory, cannonballing and clocking hours on end in the water. I want to preserve the feeling of not rushing to school, of not having homework hanging over us, of not fulfilling a to-do list a mile long.

So, I’ll enjoy my perch here, on the cusp of summer, for the next few weeks. I’ll pack the remaining school lunches and dream of our warm weather adventures, knowing that the clock is still in our favor for a while longer.

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