Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Counting Down Summer

My most dreaded time of the week is Sunday night. On Sunday nights, I lament all the tasks that did not get checked off my "To Do List" for the weekend and I stress about all that the upcoming week beholds. There are less than two weeks left before I return to school. I have a feeling that next week is going to be like one long Sunday night. I feel as if I have had no Summer Vacation at all. The first three weeks post-school year were spent teaching Summer School. Then, there was only a three week window until I had to drive Justin up to the high school every day for Cross Country practice. Midway into the first week, we had the death and I had to go back home for a week. Then, through the next week, Jason was home for the unexpected leave.

I'm not trying to say that it is no vacation with Jason here. It's just that Jason's catch phrase is "What's the plan?" I very well may have that engraved on his tombstone one day. Every day after school, when I call him or he calls me, that's what he asks- a question that's supposed to encompass what's for dinner, what do the boys have to do that night, what do I have to do, what comes on television even. When he asks me said question, even though I have come to perfectly expect it, I rarely have an answer. I cannot even think about the upcoming evening until I am in my car leaving the school grounds. During this past week he was home that was a daily, and more often more than daily question. Again, I rarely had answer. Like a hippie, I just wanted to "be, man, like, chill dude"... ok, a Surfer Hippie. On one of the first days were were back from Maryland, he laid down on the bed with a clipboard and mapped out the week with all that we needed and wanted to do. Ok, ok, twist my arm and I will admit this make perfectly logical sense. However, my insensible erratic mind wanted nothing to do with it. This is vacation. I don't want schedules. I want... whatever. I don't want to plan to do something and then be committed to doing it when I wake up and have changed my mind for the day. Now, Jason is gone and Cross Country practice has started. Practice only lasts about an hour, but it limits what we can do out of town... and, EVERYTHING to do is "out of town".

Today the boys and I went to Water Country. I think I went to my first water park (this one, the only one I have been to) about three years ago. I was scared of water rides. I went on a few with the "fam" that day and realized "fear" wasn't really what I was going to need to be worried about because SIZE was going to be a much bigger issue (no pun intended). It was exhausting to walk up those long flights of stairs to reach the starting point of a water slide. I was winded. My legs and feet hurt, probably back too, but I don't remember. Then there was the fact that I weighed too much to make the tubes float as there were supposed to. I'm pretty sure a low water supply was of equal culprit on the slide that struggled to churn and spit us out. However, after that I was paranoid about how I looked getting into the tubes and if the tubes would go down the chute once I was in them. I haven't been on a water ride since that first day. Thankfully, there are other attractions at the water park that I find entertaining, so it is not a total act of martyrdom to take the boys there.

I wasn't in the mood for those attractions today. I mostly lounged and engaged in other activities. First, there's my favorite water park game- "Is she bigger than me?" Thankfully, a few targets passed the test, not many. That environment makes me simultaneously feel okay and feel mortified by my body in alternating moments. I look at others and ponder if ill-fitting or poorly chosen bathing suits are a sign of a good self-image or a bad one. Such places also make me mourn the loss modesty of teenage girls and question what could some people possibly have been thinking when they got their tattoo. I did try to be semi-productive during my poolside lounging. I took a notebook and pens with me. (What, "normal" people don't carry school supplies to water parks?) I tried to make an overall To-Do List for the next two weeks, but that grew LONG and stressful. So, I decided to minimize the task and concentrate just on what needs to be done to the hall bathroom- from cleaning, to reorganizing, redecorating, and repairs. Five or six crumpled sheets of paper later I finally had an acceptable list. I can be OCD about list-making... just a bit.

To get to Williamsburg, where Busch Gardens and the water park are located, we can go highway or we can go backroads and across the ferry. Usually, we go backroads. The highway route is confusing and easily messed up when backrouting to come home, although I am convinced it still saves time. Tonight we pulled up to the ferry just as they lifted the ramp. I was PEEVED! They surely saw two cars coming down the path! "Dukes of Hazzard" scenes of jumping the ramp flashed through the recesses of my mind. The ferry is on a schedule on weeknights where it waits on each side of the ferry 30 minutes while it waits for passengers. So, we had to wait the full 30 minutes as it parked on the other side of the James River and then we had to wait on the ferry the full 30 minutes while it waited on our side. So, it took a full hour to take a less than 10-minute ferry ride. Between that and the steering-wheel-clenched-lookout for deer on the backroad, I think I am going to start figuring out the highway route, where however long it may be, at least it's a definite (as definite as such things can be, a least).

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