Summer is a season of sun and fun, but it’s also a chaotic clash between responsibility and recreation for me, which taxes my mental capacity.
The following sample of three recent days shows why I feel like my brain is already spilling out onto the summer sidewalk.
Thursday: Lunch with visiting friend, two speaking engagements that evening to prepare for, and a writing assignment due by morning. Still adjusting to getting work done during the day while keeping kids on task, managing usage of three cars for four drivers with five jobs between us, and negotiating how much SpongeBob is acceptable. Presentations went well—I think, nobody threw tomatoes. Up until 3:00 a.m. completing writing assignment.
Friday: After four hours of sleep, met siblings for an early breakfast because a sister was visiting from out of town and that’s the only time we could all meet. After breakfast, picked up son of friend who needed chauffering help for the day. Dropped off her kid, picked up my kids to take to the pool with visiting cousins. While my sister and I were changing clothes in the bathroom, a man came in with his toddler to use the changing table.
Didn’t say anything or act surprised.
My sister and I discussed his unabashed behavior briefly before zonking out on our towels.
Shortly awakened by kids who wanted food, kids who wanted to go home, kids who wanted to stay, and kids who needed keys to the car to go to work. Handed out snacks, keys and compromises. Another chauffer favor. Picked up friend’s other kid and a big Diet Coke. Went back to pool where soda intake forced a ladies room visit.
Thought stalls were on the other side of the room. Chalked it up to sleep deprivation and went to gather kids to go home for take-n-bake pizzas and Red Box movies.
All faces full of food and parked in front of a flick when another friend arrived from out of town to stay overnight in preparation for our benefit bike ride the next day (signed up long before knowing about sister’s visit). Girls night out with sister and friend.
Saturday: After five hours of sleep, rode 70 miles to benefit cancer research. Came home and took sister and nieces out shopping to spend time with them before they had to leave. Waved good-bye, staggered into house and flopped on bed.
Summer brings friends and family around and opportunities for fun and I want to take part in all of it, but responsibilities still have to be met and the mangle of it all sometimes creates summer brain fry. And summer brain fry makes you lead your sister into the men’s bathroom to change clothes then mock an innocent dude for being in there. Brain fry makes you not realize this until hours later when your brain is finally at rest and able to produce a coherent thought.
Whoever you are—nice dad in the men’s bathroom—you handled the situation very well.