Sunday, July 18, 2010

Celebrating Summer on Cape Cod

If you've never had to carry your largest fan onto the deck before attempting to sit outside, then you've never experienced the full force of a humid, Cape Cod summer. It's been brutal this year! The only way to escape the suffocating heat is to treat yourself to lunch in an air conditioned restaurant, followed by a movie for desert. At least that's how I choose to handle it.

Today's movie was Inception. It was amazing. I won't go into the intricacies of the multilevel story lines, nor rave too much about the brilliant casting choices, I'll just say that it was two and a half hours very well spent. The AC and stadium seating were mere cherries on a very delicious Sunday afternoon treat.

My sons couldn't discuss the movie with me on the way home because they were too busy contemplating what they'd just seen. I was told they'd need a few hours to "take it all in" before they could talk about it. That left me with my own thoughts. Which led me to firing up hoses to water my very thirsty gardens, and to the deck, which was still sweltering at 8pm tonight.

I recently bought myself a deck fountain for my birthday, so I'm currently bathing in the cool sounds of the lawn sprinklers and the water pouring into the half-barrel beside me. Thankfully, the fan is keeping the green heads and the no-see-ums at bay, or it would be impossible to stay out here for more than 3 seconds. The deck is one of my favorite places to sit in the summer, but with July running into August, I can count on one hand how often I've made it out here.

It's not just the heat and humidity keeping me from my new deck chairs that recline so much that I can watch the clouds dance across the sky. It's my crazy summer schedule that has me working 7 days a week, instead of the usual 5. My hopes of napping in my hammock, reading on my garden swing and writing at the table next to the chimenea are just that; hopes of time to slow down enough to celebrate summer before it's over.

How often have I walked through the front door with a firm plan to keep walking until I'm out the back door and in my garden? I don't recall a single day when I haven't held that dream. I typically make it three steps into the living room before picking up stray t-shirts, socks or yes, smelly undies off the floor, then it's into the kitchen to clear up breakfast dishes, or off to the bathroom to hang wet towels left straddling the shower stall. I'm not sure why teenagers have such a hard time cleaning up after themselves, but it doesn't take Inspector Morse to figure out who went where, what they ate and when they ate it.

Nor will this craziness last forever. Like the summer, my years hosting teenage boys are going much too fast. Three years from now my home will be nothing more than a stopping-off point in my sons' lives. I'm sure by then I will probably welcome their abandoned clothes, dirty dishes and damp towels.

My youngest son turned 15 last week so we had a beach bonfire party to celebrate. It was a wonderful combination of swimming, volley ball, pizza, s'mores and music blaring from an iLuv that was loud enough to clear the less adventurous souls from our party zone. On the way home, my eldest son announced that it was the best party he'd ever been to. That's saying something considering the fact that parents were present! I'd worked a full week and felt so tired that I could have fallen asleep in the trunk of my car, but his words made all the effort worth it. My younger son thanked me with a giant hug, which, coming from 15-year-old, is a miracle.

As the summer spins out of control with chaotic schedules and relentless demands for rides and sleepovers, I try to remember how fleeting the seasons are with these time-sucking teenage boys. I try to listen for the spaces between the noise. To find the moments I'll treasure long after they've moved on to their busy lives beyond these Cape Cod walls.

We followed today's movie with treats from Dairy Queen. I pretended that I thought it might cool us all down. My real motivation was to see, once again, that childish grin that always comes when you hand someone something you know they love.

Afterall, you can't have summer without ice cream!