Most mornings this summer, I’m up with the birds. In order to be on time for the OR, Bernie often needs to leave the Cape by 5:15am. This means Bernie’s alarm is set at 5:12. So I groan out of bed, assemble some sort of sad breakfast he eats over the sink, hand him an overlarge travel mug of coffee, and kiss him goodbye. Because he voluntarily extends his daily commute by 3 hours to see me (us), it feels a bit unfair to go back to bed after he pulls out of the driveway. So, I’m up with the birds.
The 4th was Bernie’s birthday, and you know, America’s. Summer birthdays cannot be beat, and when yours lands on the 4th of July, even better. Every year we say the fireworks were the best we’ve ever seen. Maybe it’s because everyone is a 5 year old under fireworks. This was the first year I noticed everyone standing with hand over heart for the national anthem. Here, in Massachusetts, where every other Prius still endorses Hillary and encourages us to Resist, citizens are concerned and angry and fearful and waiting out another two years, but we still love this land. Maybe we still love each other. Or maybe it was the little kid anticipation of a past-your-bedtime light and sound show. But we stood: proudly, reluctantly, defiantly, impatiently, or resolutely, but probably as some sort of mixed cocktail of these.
The 4th of July feels like the true start of summer here in New England. It’s finally hot. The light lasts so long that dinners are delayed. More lingering happens. I forget to check door locks, read emails, and check toothbrushes for signs of use. My boys, however, are acting like Labor Day is right around the corner and are trying to fit in a gazillion activities and movie nights and sleepovers before that friend goes to camp, or that one to visit relatives, or the other kids to pre-season sports practices. This year, in particular, my boys are very keen on time.
In response, these boys are begging us to let them be. It’s easy for me: they want to be at my house. But for the other moms also trying to make summer memories (and prevent cavities), fetching their boys from the Lee’s to drag them home might be a bit exasperating. Mostly, we let them spend every minute together and acquiesce to an umpteenth Fortnite marathon sleepover. And occasionally, like last night, all of us lounge around the dining table sharing stories, making fun of each other, and challenging Alexa to play the most sing-along-able song. As one of my fave Cape kids put it: “We’re totally vibing.” And we were.
Next summer, half of these kids will be driving. In a handful of years, they’ll be in college. Last night we talked about all of the embarrassing stories we have memory banked for Markie’s rehearsal dinner, certain we’ll all be together for that faraway life milestone, and (for the moms) maybe getting a little teary about how lucky we are to still have singalong nights now, in these moments… fleeting in the lingering light.
Happy Summer, friends. Hope you’re vibing.