Nice Work If You Can Get It

This morning I woke up to the sounds of industry.

My husband, already in his shirt and tie and smelling like aftershave and soap (delicious), leaned over me and nudged my shoulder with his lips, "Just so you know, the lawn crew is here."

I could hear the lawnmower and the trimmers going.  He was giving me fair warning: Don't walk outside naked this morning and also, ahem, it might be time to get up.

I heard him start his car and the sounds of the garage door going up and down.  I rolled over and tried to sleep.  But it is very hard to sleep to the sounds of industry.  Sounds of industry smell like guilt to me.  (Which I can smell a mile away.)

I am in the last week of summer and it is a little like purgatory.  Can't go backward.  Don't want to go forward.  Limbo in my head, dread in my stomach, sludge in my blood, terror in my heart. 

David keeps telling me, "You know we had an amazing summer, right?  I mean, you know, right?"  He's making sure I know how lucky I am, telling me that I have nothing to complain about, reminding me that in my wildest dreams I couldn't imagine a better summer.  (And don't forget, he says with his flirty eyebrows, I provided it.  Don't worry darling, I am very good at showing my appreciation.) 

The thing is, I know that.  I really do.  It was amazing.  But that didn't stop me from crying myself to sleep last night.  Because even though it was the summer to end all summers, it's still almost over.

Insert swear word here.

And yet, the sounds of industry are all around me, nudging me back to work, back to school, back to schedule, back to getting up before eight.  And the guilt is close behind, telling me I have to do more in a day than slather sunscreen on my children's gorgeous, growing bodies or braid the girls' hair or go boogie boarding with my boys and wash the sand out of our suits at night. 

A couple of days ago I spent the day at the mall with my girls.  I sat across from them, sharing an orange julius while they chattered excitedly about the new year and new teachers and piano lessons and the first chair seat in the viola section.  And I wished I could be as excited as them.

But I could only stare at their suntanned, freckled, beaming faces and wish that it was just the beginning of June.

Or at the very least, that they could take me with them.

In one week, this house is going to be very quiet.

RIM thinks I should get motivated, make a plan, write out a schedule, get busy and accomplish a few things.  CIM just stares at the wall, lost in thought, lost in space, lost again. 

Because the truth is, when my kids walk out that door in less than a week, there is a part of me that feels like my purpose will walk out with them. 

RIM thinks that's ridiculous.  CIM just shrugs.  Because ridiculous or not, it's also true.

I had a full-time job rubbing sunscreen on shoulders and cheeks and ears and the tender lines of scalp where the braids were parted.  It was a very good job.  And I was very good at it.  And have you ever seen me boogie board?  I am like a professional.  I really am.

And well, damn, I really hate job-hunting.

P.S.  The nice shot of my very fine cleavage is a just a bonus to this post.  You're welcome.