Just like a great friendship, a Seattle summer should never be taken for granted – especially this AMAZING Seattle summer we’re having! Last week my friend Gina and I grabbed our beach chairs, packed up lunch for our boys and headed to Rattlesnake Lake.
Long ago before we both had our sons we worked together for several years. Today, after many years as a senior writer and editor at msn.com, Gina is currently a successful contractor and blogger. [Gina’s blog Dynamom has been featured on The Huffington Post, ScaryMommy and PopSugar, just to name a few – check it out!]
I have long admired Gina for her resilience as a solo mom and the way she has always tenaciously attacked life with verve. We are both so grateful to have the opportunity to enjoy this summer with our boys. This is the FIRST SUMMER EVER that Dynamom has had the flexibility to be at home with her son. She’s already raised one wonderful daughter while working full-time. The gift of this summer is not lost on either of us and we have every intention of not letting it slip away.
So, with that thought in mind, I’m putting my son on notice about how we’re going to make the most of this amazing Seattle summer*:
Okay, Mr. C:
When you leave your wet bathing suit and towels on the hardwood floors which can cause them to warp, before I get all bent about it I’ll do my best to remember that those hardwood floors were my idea, not yours, and you’d be just as happy with linoleum. And before I’m tempted to rant, I’ll first remember how lucky we are to be able to afford real hardwood floors.
And all those last-minute requests for playdates with your friends and driving you back and forth? Count me in. Summer structure and camps are great, but not when they crowd out time with friends. And your dad and I are pretty grateful for the posse of great friends you’ve collected. So bring it on.
And when those playdates turned nerf gun wars turned squirt gun battles turned zombie apocalypses completely cover our deck with debris and muddy footprints? I promise to remember that both of us can take care of that in just few minutes with a hose (rather than feeling ‘put upon’ about another mess).
And when you leave a string of dirty clothes and Legos all over the family room, and super blasters and action figures clutter the back yard, how about if we both worry a little less about keeping the house spotless this summer and instead use that time to go on adventures? I love gardening and decorating and all that as much as the next mom, but I decided a long time ago that our house was going to be about making memories, not about making a statement.
And if I’m not able to get you into that perfect swim, soccer or other camp… well, bummer. I guess we’ll just have to grab a friend and head to Alki Beach for the day. Or Rattlesnake Lake. Or Greenlake. Or Lake Sammamish, Pine Lake, or Carkeek Park. Or one of a bazillion other great places to play in Seattle… for free. Or we can pay the 5 bucks and enjoy one of the local pools. Or just head into the backyard, turn on the hose, and enjoy “the poor man’s water park”.
All I ask in return is ONE FAVOR: let’s make sure we find a couple of times this summer to invite and include those new neighbors. Because all of these amazing Seattle places aren’t as fun when you don’t have a friend to share them with. And they might not know anyone yet and they don’t know about all the really cool things to do here. This summer, let’s remember to be good neighbors.
As that sweet lady in the grocery store said today when she spontaneously tapped me on the shoulder:
“I noticed you hugging your son. Be sure to do that for as long as he lets you. Before you know it he’ll be all grown up and gone.” (completely true story!)
She’s absolutely right. One day I’ll blink and you’ll be off to college. And I’ll come home to an empty house and I’ll run my toe across that warp on the hardwood floor that was made by your wet bathing suit. And it’ll just bring a teary smile.
As the great prophet of my generation Billy Joel once said:
This is the time to remember
Cause it will not last forever
These are the days to hold on to
Cause we won’t although we’ll want to
This record-breaking Seattle summer is a gift – to both of us. And when I’m stretching my head out like a turtle looking forward to the first day of school, about to set my hair on fire and run naked down the middle of the street – I welcome my friends and my neighbors to remind me of this post and to remind me to ‘get a grip.’