It’s been steamy in Brooklyn this week. Steamy and sweaty with sun that forces you off your regular route in search of shade. The hydrangeas have started poking their way out from between wrought iron fences and sudden humidity is making them hang pendulously over the sidewalks. Our kitchen cabinet painting project has been showing up in my dreams, which I can’t say is entirely welcome, but at least in real life the task is nearly complete.
In a few weeks, all three of our kids will be out of school or organized activities through the end of July and so James and I are belatedly letting the realities of summer sink in and putting plans into place, excited for the chance to be reunited with family and to triangulate visits between states and cousins. We’re foolishly optimistic that we’ll manage summertime work and childcare in a way that’s less painful than the juggle we fumbled with for so much of the last year, but hope springs eternal and we’re telling ourselves that by now we’ve all grown used to the challenge.
Still, as we clean our paintbrushes and step through the maze of cabinet doors we’ve laid out on the dining room floor, we’re also recognizing our need to carve out time away from the juggle altogether. We’re setting our sights on a break from emails and work and painting anything more than watercolor postcards. We need a stretch of lazy days without to-do lists or obligations; with nothing but tan lines and peanut butter and jelly sandwiches to worry over.
I’m dreaming of finding an old station wagon to call our own, and loading it up with duffle bags stuffed with shorts and t-shirts and more books than anyone might reasonably be able to read. I’m hoping we’ll bump along a dirt road and find a little cabin at the end of it. Maybe there will be a pond or a stretch of rocky beach—a craggy spot where we can crash for a bit and beam out clear message:
Out of office. Away from my desk. Without internet until further notice…
We need a week or two when we might get to enjoy each other’s company without the constant distraction of work and the brain-splitting attempts to be three or four things at once to three or four different people. Just one or two things to three or four different people sounds like a dream to me.
If anyone has leads for the perfect getaway for two beleaguered parents and their three young children, let me know. I’m putting it out to the universe that we could use a quiet and clean spot to land for a little time away, just the five of us. Ditto if you’ve got a lead on an old station wagon…
PS. Speaking of temperature, we were lucky to get a new air conditioner right before the heatwave. I researched options and reached out to July over the winter to see if we might be able to test-drive one of their new models this spring. It was—forgive the pun—a breeze to install as promised, and it’s been heroically cooling us down without being a total bummer to look at for the last week. They’re currently sold out, but here’s my ringing endorsement and if you’re in need, encouragement to hop on their waitlist.