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Tuesday, July 17, 2007

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I'm With the Band: Reprise

I took the boys to the lake a couple of Sundays ago. The storming of Normandy had to be logistically simpler than getting me, three kids and our cargo blown up, set up, and sunscreened. At least Eisenhower had everyone moving in the same direction.

We had a great time, like always, but I was wiped out by the time we came home. In fact, I have been pretty much wiped out every day this summer. Did I use Wendy and the Lost Boys as a literary allusion earlier this month? Piggy in Lord of the Flies would be more accurate. More about that later, if I live to tell the tale.

For today, here's some Notes from the beach last year:

August 01, 2006

Went with a girlfriend and our six kids to the lake today. Note the cascade of inflatables spilling out of my van onto the sizzling asphalt parking lot. At that point, we had been parked on said asphalt for 25 minutes and were still inflating, unloading, sunscreening, and schlepping passengers and equipment. Next note the contents of my beachbag, not one, but two magazines for my reading pleasure. Just in case I got all the way through the first and was stuck for something to do. Now, note the foul yellow beastie smugly entrenched between me, my beachbag and any lingering illusion of leisure time I might blithely cling to.

More and more these days, I feel like a roadie for a band. For starters, there's the sheer physical exertion: the endless lifting, hauling, setting up and tearing down. "Put it over here, no, over there, there, THERE!" Then there is the ass-wiping, the puking, the tantrums, the trashing of rooms. There is the procurement of playmates. And the ridiculous demands about food.

As I imagine it goes with roadies, the job description sounds much more glamorous than it is. "But you get to hang with the band, dude!" Or as my husband would say (if he did not value his life), "What do you mean, you're exhausted?? You were lying around the beach all day!"

Okay, even on the worst days, it still beats working in a straight job. There are nights when the lights go down, and I stand in the boys' bedroom doorway with as much awe and gratitude as any starstruck stagehand ever felt standing in the wings.

But it is no day at the beach.



Blogger Charlotte said...

Here in Germany, we live all of half a kilometre from a lovely outdoor swimming-pool, all set about with trees. It has a playground, a baby pool, a non-swimmer's pool, a diving pool and a pool for laps. We love it, but even though it is so close, it takes forever to pack up the brood of three and GET there.

I can relate to your feelings today. Even though it's fun, the fun is so much hard work.

10:03 AM  
Blogger Cheryl said...

Yes, I hear you! I have three girls who love to swim but it takes a ridiculous amount of packing, hauling, and unpacking to spend any amount of time in the water. Summer definitely wipes me out. When I tell my husband I took the girls to the pool, though, I think he pictures me lounging poolside with a cocktail and a magazine--which is far from how it goes. At least at this age. But yes, it beats being in a cubicle all day. Most of the time.

11:33 AM  
Blogger jen said...

Awww.... I totally remember reading this post last summer! It was the thought you might actually get to read a magazine that made me laugh out loud.

Time flies - your blog has been a great read for me this year. For some reason, whenever I catch up and read your essays, I am so inspired by your excellence that it motivates me to be more excellent in my own writing.

Thanks for that.

1:08 AM  

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