Lazy Hazy Memories

And here it is already, August. Half way through the summer and the boys are sleeping until noon, playing until midnight, completing none of their summer homework and less of their summer reading. All of my plans to keep them on track, keep them studying 30 minutes a day, cleaning their rooms, brushing their teeth. All of my plans have melted into those lazy, hazy days. That’s ok, I tell myself. Summer is for hanging around. Summer is not for plans. The work will get done.

There are always Spark Notes.

I get a text from a woman I know. I am surprised because I don’t know her well. She asks if the Evan who her daughter talks about non-stop is the same Evan who is my son. Evan works in a summer camp held in the local elementary school. Her daughter is 6. My son is 17. “Audrey absolutely adores him. She doesn’t talk about the other kids, just her team leader – Evan!”

I wonder what they talk about, these two.

I ask Evan, “Do you know a little girl named Audrey?” He smiles. He knows her. “She never stops talking. I know everything about her. She goes on and on and on.” But he smiles again. He likes her, I know him. My son is a man of few words. I can’t imagine how he replies to her constant yammering.  “She’s wicked smart, mom.  Did I read in kindergarten?”

The summer after kindergarten, my big boy held book club meetings. I was one of the few invitees. His brothers were also members. Even the infant brother; we propped him up. We drank lemonade. I don’t remember the books we discussed, but there were certainly more pictures than words. The discussion was more silly than serious. There was no talk of plot twist or character development or lessons learned. It was mostly about the lemonade. And cookies, too.

“Oh my God,” I remember thinking. “Is it not even August?” The days were hot and sweaty and everyone, and everything, was so sticky all of the time. Book club lasted an eternity, and then we played in the pool, cannonballs and swim races and fantasy games. He invented many pool games, my oldest son.  Book club, pool, lunch. “Is it not even two o’clock?”

And then it sped up. And now it is almost over.

I thank Audrey’s mom. I tell her that I love my son so desperately and will miss him terribly when he goes to college. “When is he leaving?,” she asks. “Next year,” I say.

I know, I know, I know.  I have a whole year left to enjoy him, but it is moving so quickly, so fast. And, these days, he spends more time with Audrey than with me.

Last night, he came home from work to the pizza I had waiting for him. His favorite kind. “Thanks, mom,” he says. “This is so good. Do you mind if I bring it to Alex’s?” And he is off, on a playdate I did not arrange. On an adventure I did not orchestrate. I watch him, as he walks through the back yard and enters his friend’s house, easily, comfortably, eating pizza in a home that is not his, with a friend I did not choose, but one who loves my son, who knows my son, who laughs with my son over jokes unfamiliar to me, retells stories with characters that are not me, not his brothers.

I am so grateful to Audrey’s mom, for taking the time to tell me about her daughter. For giving me a glimpse into the world in which I play an increasingly smaller part. I want to give her something in return. Some nugget of advice from a seasoned mom. From a mom of an all-grown-up kid. But I have little to say. I don’t know how to slow it down.

I want book clubs, for Audrey and her mom. And when that clock tells them that it is barely 2pm, barely August, I want them to feel contentment. I want them to enjoy  the moment, the hot, sweaty, sticky moment.  I want Audrey’s mom to do cannonballs into pools, and nevermind that her hair gets wet. I think she does. With a daughter like Audrey, the Audrey who loves my Evan, I am thinking she must.

Seventeen comes fast. And although it is still good, it is never the same.

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