Sunday, July 15, 2007

July's Fevered Pitch

July has reached its fevered pitch. The siren is sounding! I knew it would. I miss June. There's something about the fireworks in the sky on the 4th of July that changes the tone of the summer from simmer to boil, from leisurely to frantic. With the hotter weather comes wilting flower pots, crankier parents and kids and and more vacations, barbecues, parties and outings. There's more to do and less time to do it.

What really irks me is all the ads for back to school stuff that come in the newspaper. I AM NOT READY TO THINK ABOUT THAT YET, THANK YOU VERY MUCH! Like I can even think about buying my kids jeans and long-sleeved shirts when it's 100 degrees out. And when kids see the ads they go bananas and start ranting about how summer just started and how they haven't done ANYTHING FUN AT ALL THE WHOLE SUMMER AND NOW IT'S OVER!!!!

Then you have to calm them down and remind them that there's still five weeks or so, and remind them of all they've done and will still do. But they're still ticked off. Then feel ripped off somehow. Five weeks is nothing, they say. Life isn't fair. School sucks, etc. Blah blah, blah.

I must admit they're sort of right. There isn't as much time to lounge around the pool anymore. There isn't much time to read all the books I want to. There isn't much time to stare at the clouds (wait a minute, there never was time for that.) But isn't that the quintessential thing a child's supposed to do in the summer--lay out in the back yard and stare and the sky? I never really did that as a kid, did you?

And anyway, nowadays if a kid lays on the grass to stare at the clouds, his Mom or Dad is going to freak out and slather the kid with SPF 60 and bug spray from head to toe. He's going to get a lecture about harmful UV rays and told to put on sunglasses. His Mom's going to be watching him out the window to make sure he's safe from things like sprinklers or grass clippings from the neighbor's lawn or a stray pet that might startle the day-dreaming boy. By this time, whatever dreams he is dreaming have been replaced with the worried words of his parents. "I told you we should have signed him up for day camp!"

I have managed to read a couple of cool books lately, though, and I'm trying to sneak in another one when people around the house aren't watching. They know all the things I'm supposed to be doing to get ready for a major family vacation that begins this weekend. They know I really should be exercising or writing instead of reading, but guess what, I can't help myself. I really can't. There are just too many good books out there that I'm dying to read.

I just finished "kira, kira" by Cynthia Kadohata. It's a young adult novel about two Japanese-American sisters living in Iowa and Georgia. I was particularly touched by the loving relationship the two sisters share, even though they are vastly different. It was breath of fresh air.

I'm ready to delve into another one, to calm the sirens of July.

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