Summer is showing signs of decline and the full stop is so close I can feel its breath on my neck. I personally feel like saying, “what summer?” Not only was I away most of it, but I also worked harder than I did all year long for most of it. There was that one woozy week at the beach where I recovered to a standing position and began to walk forward again. The past two weeks at home with all five of my children here have been my treasure. When big brother is home we stop looking over our shoulder wondering what’s amiss, the puzzle piece is found and fitted, the whole family machine moves without kinks. The leader of the band returned, and it was all just right around here.
Last Wednesday was Jack’s eleventh birthday! He stood so tall all day long, carried himself around with this official birthday strut and a smirk on his face which told everyone without words that it was HIS day. When he woke up his brothers told him the surprise: all four of them were going to schlitterbahn water park for the day. He squealed and bumped around for a few minutes in disbelief. The four brothers had the best day together. Mama was exceedingly happy just knowing my children were having fun together.
The next day was back to school shopping day with Donny. He joined me at the stables with Andie and Kira so we could check on Gwinny and see how she is adjusting to her new “palace” where she is the princess for sure. Donny got the hook for her sunk deep inside his belly and there’s no getting free now. He spent some time grooming her alone in her stall and came out of there love struck and dazed gushing words like, amazing, beautiful, gentle, loving, sweet…. I know, I have it too. He said something so interesting, “I wish I could have grown up doing something like this, but I hope someday you and dad have a ranch so when I bring my children home they can grow up with this horse and stable life.”
Shopping together was great fun, and he caught onto the idea of shopping sales. He was enthusiastic about getting fifty dollar shirts at Eddie Bauer for twenty dollars. I agree, a good sale is a good feeling. It doesn’t matter how much money you have, why give it away when you can be smart and get more for it? That’s how I raised him, it’s how Craig’s mom raised him, and it’s where I am stuck now for good.
And then…Friday morning came. The plan was for Jordan to drive Donny to Baylor, help him move into his house, stock the fridge with my card, and then meet me in Katy. I love it that they can do this together so I didn’t want to intrude. I also didn’t want the feeling of standing in my house and watching them drive away, hear the awkward silence, see the absence of his clutter and lament the loss of his laughter in my ear.
I said goodbye first, kissed and hugged him while he was still arranging his clothes, and I ran to the stables to ride. His departure happened without my presence. (Remember Andie is home when I am not!) And that’s the second time I got out of town first this week. Before everyone I love moved out of the stables where Gwinny was, I decided to be the first to go. I’m the professional mover, I’m the one who leaves everyone behind, and just the heartache at the thought of being left behind was more than I could bear. I am a great big wuss. Selfish on this matter too.
It is not very nice of me to go first, and protect myself that way. I know. It just shows how deeply it hurts me to lose friends, family and critters I love. I don’t consciously plan it, I just move faster than everyone and realize I have avoided the hurt. It works… a little bit.
So now it is time to take Kevin to orientation for high school. Jack is getting letters about his post as a safety patrol. And Jordan is filling my computer screens with college applications. I think summer is closing before I knew I had one. It was just a vapor.