Learning to Pick My Plates

With summer winding down, I can’t help to ask, “Where did it go?”

I was so looking forward to it.

Four of my five boys were going to be home.

My husband and I were going to sneak away for our big anniversary trip that we’d been talking about for months.

We were going to take the boys on a vacation to destinations unknown.

Then, like it always does, life got in the way. One of my college boys returned to his summer job, the other had to study for his MCATs. Two had Boy Scout camp, one had band camp, and then there was daily cross-country training. Add in my day job, two aging parents, a conference in New York, and a pressing book deadline, and summer suddenly became the busiest season of the year.

Dreams of a romantic getaway with my spouse were put on hold (again) and the boys’ vacation trip got reduced to a stop at a water park paradise in the next state over.

In short, this ought to have been the summer of my discontent.

Shaking off the guilt, I chose instead to look at the bright spots – being able to visit our eldest son, interning in NYC, while at my conference, all of the good morning hugs I got, all of the extended family cookouts, visits with the neighbors, taking in movies, squeezing in date nights with my hubs, all the while working on my next book whenever I could (mostly on the train to and from work and after all went to bed).

No wonder the summer went by in the blink of an eye.

But we were together, which was the best part of it all. I didn’t appreciate this little nugget until 4:30 this morning, when my husband piled son #3 in the car to take him back to campus.

“Bye, my love,” I said out loud as I hugged my boy, telling myself the entire time to hold it together lest I start sobbing and extolling the virtues of attending our nearby community college.

But he wouldn’t let go.

“I’m gonna miss everybody,” he whispered into my neck.

Now, if that’s not a sign of a summer well spent, I don’t know what is.

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3 thoughts on “Learning to Pick My Plates

  1. Congratulations! You are obviously a wonderful mother and have a terrific family. As hard as it is to send them off (to school-to jobs-to another person) the rewards like you had are worth the tears. And the memories you made this busy summer will remain in their hearts forever. I am tearing up as I write this having been there myself! Good luck these next few days when the adjustments are the hardest! Send him a love package as soon as possible so he knows you are missing him!

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