As a parent there's a certain level of stress about Summer that's akin to Christmas. A pressure to make it special. At the playground parents ask each other how the summer is going, adding a tentative, "Planning any trips?"
Our summer trip is in the bathroom we just had remodeled. Which looks beautiful, but cost three times what we were told and took half the summer to complete. It's actually not complete. To get a toilet seat that is isn't oak but has metal hinges, you must special order it and wait four to six weeks. So to use the commode in the interim, you must be comfortable with a decidedly non-American mode of direct contact with porcelain. I've lived in Mexico and spent a lot of time in Japan, so it's not a big deal. For now.
In spite of no big summer vacation on the horizon, I'm having a wonderful summer. In addition to spending a lot of time with the family, I'm doing a lot of hiking, walking and bicycling. Hikes in the Gorge and Forest park. Walks downtown for appointements or weekday matinees at Fox Tower Cinemas, up to Mt Tabor and along the Esplanade. I've been cycling the Spring Water Corridor and up Mt Tabor. We spent two and half hours in Laurelhurst Park yesterday. Maisie played in the kiddie poolfully clothed the entire time. While June toddled around the play structure and played with a friend's baby, before falling asleep in a swing. Henry made some puppets at the crafts table with his friends. I chatted with an old friend that I knew from fifth grade through high school and hadn't seen since. She recognized me and it was good to be nostalgic for grade school friends. Her son is nine and made friends with Henry without an introduction. A thing to smile about.
We had a simple barbecue the other night and spent an evening at Oaks Park earlier in the week. There's also a small but wonderful farmer's market near our house on Thursdays where we eat, buy food and listen to music while chatting with people from the neighborhood.
I'm not doing much else. Some very limited, but efficient work on finishing projects. Like getting a shot of Joey for Made Crooked before he moves to New York in a few days. We did that against a green screen in the park yesterday. Ive been reading a few books about the filmmaking of Woody Allen and Bertolucci.
I rented my camera to an indie movie for a month, which is allowing me the time to relax and enjoy the summer. I think it's important for the kids to experience the whole family having a moderately lazy summer. Moreover, I'll be forty in three weeks and I feel as if I deserve to experience that milestone with some quiet perspective and serenity.