Eight Arms: Summer of the Cephalopod Mollusc

“I’m not an octopus, Mom!”

That was then four year-old son’s yell to me when I told him to help bring groceries from the car.

Do you ever feel like yelling that at someone? Your spouse? Your boss? Yourself? You simply cannot schedule or go to one more thing.

I know the feeling. I just got done looking at what I want to do and what son at home wants to do and what we need to do, and I’m already asking, “Where’d summer go?”

For all of the hype about summer being the season where everything slows down, I see a lot of people ramping up. Kids’ baseball games. Summer camps. Community activities. Camping with the kids. Outdoor concerts. Beach house week with the in-laws. And the ever-present cloud of pressure to RELAX AND ENJOY YOURSELF, DAMMIT.

octopus-photos-ramboSure, it’s supposed to be a more relaxed, more laid back season, but it doesn’t always feel like that. Summer can quickly devolve into “Well, shit, let’s go so we can get home.” To add insult to injury: colleagues take summer vacation which creates slack to be picked up at the office. Or you’re a teacher with “your summers off” – yeah right. Neighbors ask you to watch yards, houses, and pets while they go on a trip. Yep, calendars and obligations can be feel greater in the summer than during other parts of the year.

A few days ago eldest son asked me what my sisters and I did in the summers when we were kids. We rode bikes. We played in the neighborhood. We went swimming. We hung out. I did not feel like I had eight things going on today and eight more tomorrow. I want to reclaim that. I reject the octopus.

Graduations are happening. Weddings are scheduled. Vacations are looming. It’s going to be a great summer – just don’t overdo it.

Do one thing at a time.

Enjoy the times. The people.

Remember, you’re not an octopus.



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