As we all know, summer is very (too) quickly coming to an end. Many kids around the U.S. are already back to school. Here in New York, my kids are getting ready to go back next Thursday, September 2nd.
We've been busy hitting the stores for all the requisite "back-to-school" gear.... new socks, underwear, t-shirts, sneakers. Not to mention the supplies that are needed: notebooks, pencils, backpacks, folders, loose leaf.... the list goes on!
Needless to say, my reading has totally fallen by the wayside. My nightly gift to myself is to get into bed with a book and read for an hour or more. But lately, I've been so tired - too tired to pick up my book. Lately, I've been getting into bed and turning on the news for a mere 5 - 10 minutes before my eyelids are closing.
After cleaning the house yesterday, and making a killer dinner of baked ziti siciliana with eggplant fresh from our garden, I was really looking forward to taking a hot shower and climbing into bed with my newest read.
Alas, that was not to happen. After a shower, I came downstairs for a glass of iced tea and my 10-year-old was sitting watching Nickelodeon. On my way back up the stairs, he said, "Mom, there's a good movie coming on. Wanna watch it with me?". Honestly, I thought, "No." (I know.. bad mommy!) But when he said, "pleeeaaase." I said I'd watch for a few minutes, but then I was going up to read my book.
So I sat down with him on the couch, and when the movie started, he got out the old quilt and spread it over our legs so we could "get comfy" and enjoy the show.
So there we sat: Logan at one end of the couch, me at the other end; covered in an old quilt and a big bowl of popcorn between us. I was laughing at the movie, remembering when Marty McFly was the biggest thing to happen to 1985. And Logan was laughing at discovering Marty for the first time in 2010.
Two and a half hours later (the movies on Nickelodeon are peppered with commercials!), the show was over, the popcorn was depleted, and I was ready for bed. I thought, "there goes another night of not getting any reading done." Oh well, there's always tomorrow. So as I started folding up the blanket, and picking up any stray kernels that didn't find their way to our mouths, Logan says "That was such a good movie, Mom... I can hardly wait to do this again tomorrow night when they show part II.... can you???"
Ah, well.... the best laid plans, right?
I was really glad to spend this time with him, even though it was not what I had planned. We had fun. It was spur-of-the-moment. And these off-the-cuff bonding times are becoming more and more scarce. Next year he'll be in middle school (!), and we all know that by that time, friends become the most important things in their lives. He probably won't let me stand on the bus stop with him anymore. And forget about getting a kiss goodbye! (not in front of everyone, MOM!)
So for now, I'll just sit back and savor what I still have. The books will be there tomorrow. Or the next day, or next week. God knows, so will the laundry. Secretly I am thanking my son for teaching me to stop and smell the roses. If only for a moment. Yes, I need to get things done. I'm trying to honor my commitments to do reviews for various authors and publishers. But I also have to realize that my kids are only young for so long. This little learning experience has been an eye opener. And even though I am very selective in what I accept for review, I think I need to slow down a little. I feel like sometimes I put unreal expectations on myself. I have a family that keeps me very busy, and I don't always have the time to finish 3 books in one week (I don't know how some of these people do it!).
So tonight, don't look for me in my bed with a book in my lap. You'll find me on the couch nestled under a quilt with my son, fighting over a big bowl of popcorn!