Monday, August 22, 2011

Opposite Life

I sometimes feel like I'm living life in that place we played in as kids, you know, opposite day.  Do you remember it?  It's the day where you would say to your best friends I hate you and everyone would laugh because we would all know that it really meant I love you.

It's how I feel about the summer and school season.

I know lots and lots of people look at summer as this great rest and relaxation time of the year, and in a way, I do too.  I'm not that crazy, but in a different way, the summer is the most crazy and hectic time of the whole year.  There is always some great fun and amazing thing to be running off to.  There are a million activities and get togethers both planned and spur of the moment.  There are tons of great places to go and things to do and I'm not complaining.  Not at all.  I'm just saying, you have all that stuff, plus all the planned stuff like vacations and summer camps and suddenly every minute is over filled and if I can be super honest, the money flies out like crazy.  Then you get near the end of the summer and start to do the back to school shopping and it's double money out the door. 

The build up of activities and spending in the days before school starts makes me hear the Jaws theme music in my head, add in the summer's almost over kid crazies and I'm pretty sure the shark is circling and just about ready to bite me in two.

For me, school brings peace.  And this is where the opposite life comes in. 

I know for most of you the school year is not the advent of peace, it's the start of schedules and running around and homework and all that stuff.  And yeah, I have all that too, but I like it, because it's set schedules and it's consistent routines and it's predictable.  In that predictability is freedom for me.

See, I can look ahead and see where I'm going to catch the minutes to pray or read or write.  I can plan for the days when all the little people are away and I can plot stories and outline themes and create those critical character sketches.  Those are the days to plan the month menus and precook as much as I can.  Those are the days for me to fit in appointments I want to do alone or meet up with those long lost friends I haven't seen all summer for a lunch. 

The school season is a sweet season of release for me.  Maybe I'm just shallow or a true slacker parent, but honestly, I don't worry about the kids when they're at school.  Not one bit.  True confession~~they barely enter my mind in the hours they are away from me.  I am sickly optimistic and simply trust that the adults in charge will generally be good and do their best and then if something bad or disastrous or horrible happens, well, we'll confront it and handle it then. 

So maybe the school season for me is just a selfish season.  It's a time when I get real focused on doing the "me" things.  I take care of as much of my personal health stuff as I can.  I build those relationships.  I get in deep with my Jesus.  I read.  I study.  I write. The writing is work for me, but a good work.  I try to get a handle on "projects" although in recent times I've been spoiled by Chicklet's brother, The Drummer.  He's a rock star in his own right and he's been a treasure around here.  My yard is handled and my rooms are getting painted.  They look fantastic, I might add.  He's mighty good at what he does.

This is really your first introduction to The Drummer.  He's a good kid, really good.  He's the owner of the right kind of humor, just sly and dry enough.  Music and art are his passions and there lies the talents too.  The Drummer will tell you he doesn't like kids, but I have a little guess that deep down he kind of really does, or at least has grown a small sweet spot for mine and that makes me like him all that much more. 

So there you go, my take on the reverse seasons and an introduction to Chicklet's brother.