By Megan

Here in the Midwest, people suck the stinkin’ marrow out of summer, because winter sucks the marrow out of our souls, except souls don’t have marrow, bones do, but for the purposes of my clever opening sentence we’re going to just set all that aside and nod our heads in agreement, right? Winter sucks the marrow out of souls. Yep.

So, that point established, Al and I are finally learnin’, after five summers, that we have to grab summer and squeeze it all out as fast as we can and wring it hard – get our whole bodies into it – til it’s bone dry and limp and there’s nothing left of it.

And we’ve just about reached that point.

School starts in a little over a week and there’s already beginning to be a little coolness in the air, so our budding Midwestern-ness has kicked into overdrive and all-of-a-sudden we’re packing a camping trip and a big party in the back yard and bonfires and barbecues and a zoo visit and a million other things into two weekends like come September 1 we’re all four going to turn back into pumpkins or sumpm. And I love it all and know it must be done because in two months the sidewalks of this neighborhood will roll up and we won’t see another human soul until April so make hay while the sun shines and all that, but people? I AM TIRED. I try to stuff the tired down, or push it away to the side and KEEP GOING, deny deny deny. And Al’s doin’ his thing, we’re dressing kids and packing cars and pulling wagons around corners on two wheels, and he keeps smiling and going and I wonder to myself, “Isn’t HE tired?” but I don’t have time to ask because he’s out watering the grass and socializing with the neighbors between calendar commitments and we just brush past each other in the hall, both of us changing into clean shirts and looking! for! our! sunglasses!

Today though, I noticed something. I was simultaneously schlepping laundry around and uploading pictures and watering plants on the patio and I looked up at 4:30 PM and noticed that Al was feeding our kids dinner. At 4:30 PM. Then he got them up from the table and tossed them into the bathtub, scrubbed them clean with the fury and fervor of a soapy cyclone, dried, powdered, pajama’d and popcorn’d them in record speed and had them settled on the sofa watching a kid flick, all in about 14 seconds flat.

They look so happy and cozy and READY for the down time. And the best part is Al, sitting in the middle, a blanket over the three of them. I’m onto him — he’s as tired as I am — why is that so comforting to me?

I can hear the washing machine churning and the air conditioner humming and these are the sounds of a peaceful Sunday afternoon, nowhere to be, nothing we’ve got to do, just us in a cool house with the blinds already drawn against the bright sun – on its way down but still quite vibrantly up – at 6:30, headed to bed early to wake up and start the last official (BUSY) week of summer.

Megan also blogs at FriedOkra.

2 Responses to T.G.I.S.
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