Monthly Archives: June 2012

Summer, Summer, Summer

I lean against the corner of the covered playground area, watching. The sun beats down between my shoulder blades, warming me. I have my camera at the ready, but I know it’s not really pictures I want to take. I simply want to soak in this morning. I feel it. I’m in it.

More than remembering, I am reliving.

Faces glow. Smiles abound. There’s an energy, a buzz in the air. Boys and girls hold bouquets of flowers, potted plants and gift bags, decked out in flip-flops, sandals, shorts and sundresses. I linger, wanting to take it in and hold on to it as long as I can. It only comes once a year.

The last day of school.

Anticipation. Excitement. Freedom. Friends. Laidback routines. Fun. Summer stretches out into days, months even, feeling like there is no end in sight.

From Kindergarteners to Fifth Graders, over seven hundred kids line up on the blacktop, waiting for their teachers to come lead them to class. Kids chatter with a nervous, excited intensity. Just hours to go. The Principal, in her suit and sunglasses, signs yearbook after yearbook, as sought-after as a celebrity at a Meet ‘n’ Greet. She’s moving on to the Middle School, so her signature is one they want to capture and are certain to cherish.

Finally, the bell rings. Teachers make their way out. My son’s Kindergarten teacher passes by and we wish each other a happy summer. His First Grade teacher follows. “A bittersweet day,” she says to me, summing it up. In the distance, I see my son and his buddies follow their teacher. I watch as he disappears behind a portable, noting that it’s the last time I’ll see him as a Second Grader.

Four hours later, I greet the bus, cheering, as it arrives. Again, I have my camera at the ready, but I doubt I’m going to take any pictures. I high five kids as they step down to the sidewalk. My son emerges as a proud, smiling Third Grader. We walk back to our house and he shares the highlights of the day. Yes, the Principal cried. Yes, his teacher did, too. We get home and try to figure out what we can do since it’s the Last Day. We mill around a bit. I put some things back in the garage as we toss some ideas back and forth.

“I don’t want it to be summer,” he announces.

I look up.

Here is the bittersweet.

We talk about missing friends and keeping in touch. As the idea of summer stretches out before him, along with the realization that he won’t see his friends everyday, his face shows a tinge of sadness.

But it passes quickly and we are back to the important decision at hand.

We decide on the Rage Cage. He grabs his bat and batting glove and we jump in the car, off to enjoy the first —thankfully, sunny—afternoon of summer vacation.


Ode To The Sun, Part II

June-uary has lived up to its name,
Almost everyday has felt the same,

We’ve driven through squalls, we’ve donned our coats,
We’ve seen puddles so large we could’ve launched boats,

Fireworks stands go up in parking lots,
But we’re still chilly, it hasn’t been hot,

Ten degrees below normal is just not right,
Alas, the end is finally in sight,

The last day of school comes tomorrow,
Summer break fun will replace our sorrow,

Let’s end the year with some Vitamin D,
Please show up, sun, that is our plea,

We are ready for a warm July,
June, we bid a triumphant goodbye!

The World’s Best

I guess I thought I was the only one who felt like she had the best dad in the world.

The beauty of yesterday is that I discovered that I wasn’t.

This weekend I gathered some art supplies and the boys sat at the kitchen table to create their Father’s Day greetings. My 8-year-old decided that rather than doing a card or a poem for his dad, he’d write a letter. He chose a piece of vellum and hand drew lines on it with a ruler. I left him alone with his thoughts. He used his very best printing. Here are some of his (unedited) words:

Dear dad,
Thank you for being my dad. Your the best dad in the world……..Do you know what makes you the best dad? The thing that makes you the best dad is….hanging around with me when its just you and me and watching baseball and going to mariners games that is the things that makes you the best dad!

My eyes filled with tears, my heart with gratitude.

It felt like another connection, another way to carry Huckster on —not just in memories, character, spirit and words, but in our relationships.

By holding close to the things that he held dear, like family, we are holding him close to our hearts.

Dear dad,
Thank you for being my dad. Your the best dad in the world.

What’s The Logic?

I like to think of myself as a reasonably intelligent SJSU grad with fairly decent communication skills. Conversations often flow — there is a nice back-and-forth rhythm, a give-and-take, if you will. Information is gleaned. Insights are shared.

Except when you hang out with a three-year-old.

All day, everyday.

Add in your head being stuffed up with a cold. Not only do conversations lag, they come to a standstill. I am stopped in my tracks by my little guy’s comments and need some time to regroup. Here are a few of his examples from a one-hour period last night:

As I attempt to crank up the car radio to enjoy One Direction’s catchy, upbeat tune What Makes You Beautiful: “Please turn it off. I don’t have my shoes on.”

As I make up a bedtime story about Batman and Robin being hungry and eating chips and salsa together: “No, Batman and Robin AREN’T hungry.”

“I’m not flossing. I have a cold.”

The idea of reasonable intelligence goes right out the window. The adult in me wants to react with wisdom, guidance and patience, something along the lines of “That doesn’t even make any sense.”

Instead, I buy myself a little time to weigh my options.

“I’ll have to think about that…”

Then, I proceed.

I turn off the radio, knowing I won’t be able to sing back-up for the cute boy band amid protestations from the back seat.

OK, Batman and Robin don’t eat chips and salsa, they simply enjoy each other’s company.

We always floss. Even with a cold.

You win some. You lose some. You pick your battles, as we moms like to say.

Hopefully as the head clears, I won’t find myself questioning my sanity quite so often.

Or maybe it’s just life with a three-year-old — it goes with the territory.


I’ll have to think about that…

Ode To The Sun

The flip-flop tan lines that were so neat,
Are fading now, we’ve turned on the heat,

They call it June-uary here,
Storms, cold and clouds have replaced the clear,

Forty seven degrees for a morning run,
The birds still sing and have their fun,

But this Cali girl has a hard time now,
She shakes her head and furrows her brow,

For this month means shorts and outdoor pools,
Polar fleece and beanies? How uncool.

Thoughts of July and August get us through,
Bright, long days and barbecues,

We know that summer is on its way,
But we’ll stash the Coppertone today,

OK, sun – we’ll see you soon,
Maybe not right now. Maybe not in June.