Gay Dad: The Middle of the Summer
By: John Jericiau
I haven’t checked for accuracy, but I feel like we are almost smack dab in the middle of summer break. We’ve long returned from our two-week vacation in Puerto Rico, but yet still have a significant amount of time until the first day of school slams into us like a frying pan on your head. School and all of its scheduling and rushing and play dates is but a distant memory, but now you can just begin to feel the anticipation of the new school year invade your head.
I was going to work on Dylan’s numbers with him, so I better get going so he knows how to write 1 through 10 well before he enters kindergarten. For some reason he writes a 9 when he means a 6 (and vice versa), and he writes the number 8 by piling one zero on top of the other, instead of writing the figure 8 in one fall swoop. I don’t know how or why these things have happened. I just know that I was going to work on it “all summer” with him, and I’m aware that “all summer” has shortened significantly. I really wanted these boys to be riding their bikes proficiently by August. I had imagined that we’d be hiking at least every other day. After all, surely we could fit in an hour of hiking each long summer day, no?
To be fair, they are taking swim lessons almost every day without fail. And they have enjoyed a handful of days at surf camp. They’ve seen at least five movies so far this summer (just today we saw Turbo, in fact, and loved it), and we’ve hit the library more times than I can count.
To be honest, I had a goal of allowing the boys to enjoy lots of free play this summer, and I think we’ve really been successful in that respect. Many times I’ve tried to get some things accomplished in the house while they used their imagination in the back yard to play together, or their fists to fight together.
The most enjoyable thing about this particular time is the lack of rigid scheduling. I haven’t yelled, “Get out of bed!” once. In fact, I do everything I can to let them sleep in while I have some me time (well, me and an eight month old). They stay in pajamas until we decide to leave the house, and sometimes they take two baths in one day. They’re up late most nights (9 pm is the latest), and we’ve done more things as a family because of it (board games, walks for ice cream), which is fantastic.
I’m going to try hard not to let thoughts of first grade and kindergarten enter my brain yet. I want to live in the moment, and I want the boys to live in the moment also. Yes there are fewer and fewer of these moments, and the time will come when we are watching our sons walk into class once more. For right now, however, I’m not even going to watch a clock. Now that’s enjoyable.