Playing Catchup

I never meant to take two weeks off from blogging. I got caught up with end of the school year activities, an amazing trip to Williamsburg, VA with my daughter, mom, sister and niece, then returned home to a potty trained son (gotta love Carter for making that happen–he went cold turkey on the diapers and I swear, our kid is peeing and pooping in the potty without M&Ms, stickers or even the promise of a new fan!), and no Internet access for 3 days (this time I can blame Time Warner, not my beloved Mac).

Summer is officially here now that school is out. I loved summer as a child–days at the pool, sunbathing in the driveway with a 3 liter of Diet Coke and a thick layer of baby oil to enhance my tan, sleep away camp, hours of soap opera watching and no real place to be. But as an adult, I actually find summer to be a lonely time. Regular routines are all out of whack, friends are on vacation, it’s hotter than hell on a good many days, and trips to the pool have lost their magic. Perhaps it’s my extroversion, or my desire for structure, but something about summer and long hot days with no schedule in sight makes me feel a little sad.

We made our first summer trek to the pool with friends yesterday. It was fun to go with others, but still didn’t make the experience of donning a bathing suit any more exciting. My son sat on the edge of the pool and traced my spider vein-covered legs with his fingers, asking “mommy, what are all of those pink lines?” Nice self-esteem boost from the 3 year old. And since my son is still getting the hang of the potty thing, I spent half of the afternoon in the swimming pool bathroom begging him to pee and/or poop. Getting to the bathroom required running (because when they’re learning, there is no time to walk!) barefoot across a gravel parking lot and way too much touching of a public toilet for a woman who calls herself the Neat Freak. But he’s getting the hang of it and had a totally accident-free day today–I’m so proud of him I could just cry, despite his running commentary about the state of my thighs.

Today we visited the library and signed up for the summer reading program. I think I’m going to have to put together some kind of daily/weekly schedule for us so we have a planned activity every day during our weeks without camp or trips to the beach. Otherwise, I fear I’ll start drinking at 4pm while the kids watch their sixth and seventh hour of PBS kids (they’re now old enough to notice when the same show comes on twice in one day). So much for the carefree days of summer…could I be less of a fun mom?

Perhaps I need a project to inspire me. You might have noticed I haven’t mentioned my attempt to reduce our consumerism lately. I don’t know what has come over me, but I’ve been buying like it’s going out of style. We completed all of the work on our house and are officially broke, so you’d think that would slow me down. I even forced myself to watch Inconvient Truth again AND hurled trash off of the back of a pickup truck into a landfill…and still, I’m buying.

I was just reading on MojoMom today about a new initiiative on BlogHers to harness the power of women bloggers and support a global cause for a year. I truly believe that climate change, eco-friendly and simple living are worthy causes to stand behind. Despite my shopping, I still find myself thinking throughout the day about my impact on our world and what I’m leaving behind for my children. But I’m feeling like a bit of a hypocrite given my trips to Old Navy and Target of late. A second part of BlogHers initiative is to create an election ’08 manifesto–asking the candidates to earn our votes by addressing the issues that matter most to us. I watched both the Democratic and Republican debates last week and was pleased to hear climate change mentioned…but no one is knocking my socks off with their solutions.

I sound a bit like my six year old whining “I’m bored”…and we’re only 3 days into summer. Inspire me with your stories of summer memories or plans, or red-hot issues you want to read about online. This girl is needing an infusion of excitement and something to stand behind again.

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2 Responses to Playing Catchup

  1. Kim says:

    Hi Perri:

    If you’re still looking for a new “Enough is Enough” project to thwart your consumerism, you might be interested to read about a woman here in Vancouver, Canada (where I live) who has vowed to “live plastic free”. This might seem actually feasible for you considering your son’s new-found freedom from diapers! Check out and you might be inspired. (Personally I live in awe of this woman, especially after my husband just came back from our carport to report there is no more room in our two large plastic recycling bins and that our city should pick up recycling every week like they do our regular garbage instead of just once every two weeks!).
    Cheers, Kim

  2. Neva says:

    Hi Perri,
    When I return from the triathlon in Philly this weekend I plan to start organizing a benefit – probably a silent auction to help raise money for my friend’s maternity hospital in Malawi. I’ll tell you all about it at book club. We’d love any help or donation đŸ™‚
    By the way – I agree with you about summer feeling structure less. Luckily my kids are both in camps/preschool all summer which I prefer, because if you have to work the nebulousness of summer childcare is awful. Glad you are back to blogging..

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