Sometimes I imagine what it’s like to live where things are consistently dull. My mother used to write me postcards from Santa Fe with ABD: Another Beautiful Day.
This Vermont summer drips messily with humidity one day, envelopes sticking together, the silverware slick with moisture. Today is edged raw, making me think not of watermelons and salad with fresh dill but macaroni and cheese steaming in the oven.
One extreme or the other, not much in between.
Maybe raising kids is the same way. With a houseful of kids and cousins, they’re all long tanned legs and appetite this summer, baby softness long since gone by. Mothering for me began with that extreme – crying or, blessedly, not – and so I began to understand parenting in that way.
Here’s another Summer Goal: reprogram myself to even out, as the children all grow taller (but not yet fiercer) than myself.
The rain is falling all around,
It falls on field and tree,
It rains on the umbrellas here,
And on the ships at sea.
– Robert Louis Stevenson, from “A Child’s Garden of Verses”