The Stay-at-Home Mom’s Guide to The Summer of George

I was a Seinfeld fan from the start.  Maybe it was the story about nothing.  Maybe it was Kramer.  Maybe it was the fact that it was so freaking scripted but it wasn’t Who’s the Boss or Cosby Show scripted.  I still can’t put my finger on the full reason for my reverence… but “The Summer of George” was my favorite episode.  Hands down.  Ever.

If you’re familiar with Seinfeld (and this episode) then you remember that George had been fired from his job with The New York Yankees.  While he’s wallowing in his sadness he discovers that he has been allotted a severance package that will last for approximately 3 months.  And that is when George decides he is going to “really do something with those 3 months.”  He’s going to read a book (from beginning to end, in that order).  He’s going to learn to play Frolf (Frisbee-golf).  This is going to be the time for George to “taste the juices and let them drip down his chin.”  Now, being the lazy bastard that he is, George doesn’t really accomplish many of his goals but every time summer rolls around, I’m so fucking jealous of George and the idea of “that” summer.

It is currently the third week of summer camp for my older kids here.  I’ve been feeling, a bit, low…. let me take that back,  the monotony of it all has made it Groundhog Day around here.

Summer is turning out to be just like Fall, Winter, and Spring.  The same.  But hotter… It’s like a shitty song on repeat and I’ve already skipped too may songs on Pandora to listen to something new.  The incessant loads of laundry and meal planning, the grocery shopping, the drop-offs, the pick-ups… there must be something else I’m supposed to be doing…

And then it hit me.

My older kids are in camp until 3:45 EVERYDAY!!  That is almost 2 hours longer then the normal school day for my Middle Monkey and my Hubby isn’t an asshole about my jobs around the house.

It’s almost like I’ve been given a severance package too… but this one is with TIME!

And around here, time is like money.

I’m really going to live.

I’m going to do all the things I don’t normally do!

I declare this… “The Stay-at-Home Mom’s Summer of George”!

Here is my Top 10 list of things to do…

10. Go see the movie Chef, during the day, with my 4 month old baby.  {Because no one takes a baby to the movies… but I have to see this}

9. Drive to the Eden “strange fruit” winery (which is over 1 hour away) and buy kiwi wine.  {Because no one takes a baby to a winery… but I have to try this}

8. Finally hit up a spinning class.  {Even though I’m petrified}

7. Put on a bathing suit and take the baby to a public pool.  {Ugh, but it has to be done}

6. Get a pedicure. {Because damn, my feet are toe-up}

5. Travel the 30 minutes to the Norman Love Confections and take the chocolate tour.  {Because chocolate}

4. Take the baby to the beach and only pack one bag and an umbrella.  {It’s harder than you think}

3. Have lunch or brunch with a friend once a week.   {Because friends and food}

2. Read a trilogy.   {From beginning to end, in that order}

1. Eat a peach, alone, without any children asking for a bite, and let the juices drip down my chin, just like George.

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False Sense of Security

I like to consider myself a smart cookie.  I’m college educated and still pretty quick-witted.  I’m also in “okay” shape.  I can run pretty fast if I’m being chased, or if a cold beer is waiting for me at the end of the run.  But sometimes you can’t prepare for things… sometimes adrenaline takes over and all the knowledge you thought you possessed has fallen by the wayside.  Sometimes fear glues you to the ground as lightning is hitting you from the heavens and you are immobilized.  I’ve never experienced this before this morning, and I hope I never have to experience it again.

Today is Memorial Day.  A somber national holiday with beautiful weather where you can smell summer in the air. Shit, I live in FL we’ve smelled summer in the air since February… you can smell the end of school in the air today, and the humidity dripping down your cleavage (in the shade). It’s HOT.

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Our house has a pool.  It’s a beautiful pool but the heater has been broken.  But now it’s crazy hot, and although my oldest isn’t fond of a cold pool the 3-year-old wants into that water… he’s been waiting for Memorial Day. And now it’s here.

We’ve been planing a family BBQ today.  And since we had a soccer tournament this weekend we ended up inviting some of those friends too.  It was going to be a lot of people and we spent the morning tidying up (which is so much easier and more enjoyable with my Hubby to help, but that’s a different blog).

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So the middle monkey begged to get into the pool at 10 AM.  My Mother has given me this children’s life-preserver/flotation device that he uses at her house (where he often swims) and he loves.  I HATE letting a kid swim in a flotation device. especially a kid as big as my 3-year-old.  He and I went for swim lessons twice a week for all of last summer.  He CAN swim but he’s not confident.  So, I geared him up in his life vest and continued working on cleaning the patio… within 5 feet of him.

The 3-year-old swam for over an hour…

“Mommy, watch this!”

{Jump, Splash}

“Daddy, watch what I can do….”

{Swims to ball, throws ball, jump, splash}

Buddy, make sure you jump away from the wall!

Honey, make sure you jump away from the stairs!

He’s having a ball and I’m having a hundred million little panic attacks in my brain.  Water and kids scare the shit outta me.  I didn’t get him this far to have something stupid happen.  So, when he’s been in the pool for almost 2 hours and says he’s cold, and wants a towel, I’m thrilled.

We take off his floaty, towel him dry, grab him a drink and hubby and I start talking about the game plan for cooking and guests, and “will so-and-so show up” and “Oh, I hope they can make it”.

That’s when I heard the SPLASH!

I look to the pool and see that my 3-year-old has jumped into the middle of the water.

Without the floaty.

Alone.

The definition of bravery is the quality that allows someone to do things that are dangerous or frightening.  This sight was both things.  But I just screamed to my husband while I was frozen to the floor.

He acted swiftly and without hesitation.  Jumping in the pool with all his clothes and shoes and phone (Lifeproof case)  and quickly grabbed our boy from the pool.  He was fine and in one piece barely spending a nano-second under water.

He was more scared by my scream then anything else and I, I was more scared by my immobilizing fear.

He really thought he had that life vest on, and maybe, just maybe, he really would have been able to swim without it.

But I wasn’t going to chance that.

He starts swimming lessons at camp in 2 weeks.  No more false sense of security. We’ll have the normal mommy safety net out then

Next time I’ll be right there.  No fear.  Just there.