I think when I look back on this summer most of my memories will be rather hazy, fuzzed with gold around the edges. Hazy because there's not a lot, so far, that's happened. A lot of our weekends and weekdays have been similar to each other, all of them variations on a particular domestic routine. Oddly, I've loved it.
Most of the six summers Andrew and I have spent together haven't been like this at all. Our first summer we lived on different sides of the water and were both playing shows with our bands, working full time day jobs, making records and going out a lot at night, catching time together however we could. Our second summer we were married, but Andrew was gone for all but a couple weeks on tour. I don't remember much about summer #3 except that Andrew was still touring, and I spent a lot of weekends on the peninsula with his family, sometimes with him and sometimes by myself, working in our garden. The year after that we lived with his dad for most of the summer and things were not calm - I spent a lot of time on the daily commute, and we were in the midst of buying our condo which was a harried process at the best of times. Last summer- and the year prior - we were dealing with infertility and an extremely uncertain financial future. Andrew just didn't have work. I just wasn't getting pregnant. We couldn't afford the cost of the ferry each weekend to keep our peninsula garden. There were lots of beautiful moments, but the general sense was one of impending doom.
This year is just different. The axe dropped on Andrew's job last December, and after some examination he realized he didn't want to be an electrician anyway. He's finishing up his second quarter of school now, with a 4.0 I don't mind mentioning, and will formally start his Respiratory Therapy program at the end of Sept. Our adoption paperwork has been done since February. We don't have the money for big trips or fancy treats, but we've been enjoying our DIY projects (Andrew made cheese!), each other, and the opportunity to truly inhabit our landscape: to live in our home, enjoy our neighbors, explore our city. We wake up every day together, and for the first time in our marriage we're both home most evenings together. We go to the farmer's market on Fridays, we use the grill several nights a week and are often joined by neighbors to share food and company. Maybe it's the heat, or the sunshine, or the undeniable and inescapable beauty of our city in the summer, but I will admit to feeling quite content.*
I was in the living room, last Friday night, watching t.v. and working on website stuffs while Andrew bustled about the kitchen in pursuit of homemade cheese and I couldn't help it. I just felt wonderful.
"Babe?" I shouted to get his attention, because I can never keep things to myself. "Andrew!"
"huh?" He poked his head around the corner, cheesecloth in one hand and wooden spoon in the other. "What?"
"Remember when we were younger and playing shows and it just felt every day like we would always look back on that time and remember it as the best time of our lives?"
He smiled. "Yes." With a glance back toward whatever mysterious process was taking place in the kitchen he gave me his attention. "I remember."
"Doesn't it also sort of feel like that now?"
"mmmhm," he replied, but I had lost him, there was something compelling happening with the cheese. He darted back into our little galley. "It does!" he shouted from the milky depths. I chuckled. There's something so satisfying to me in watching my husband in the grip of a new idea/project/obsession.
Maybe there's lots of those times, little golden times between crisis and transition, when you can relax and live life and truly be in your space. Don't get me wrong, I'm more than ready to trade this away for sleepless nights and dirty diapers. But I'm not going to let my readiness for something different steal away the joy of my right now. It's a pretty great life. And thank God I'm not lactose intolerant. I'd be missing out on some amazing cheese.
* subject to change or revision without notice or prior consent.