Okay, so school technically started about three weeks ago. And fine, I'm not even the one in school. Whatever. I'm still going to uphold the fine tradition of English teachers across the nation, and write about my summer vacation.
My starter baby, my fake-it-til-you-make-it introduction to parenting, graduated from high school. After a lot of late night anguish over homework, stomach aches over girlfriends, Snoopy happy dances because of football games and track meets, and more tears than can ever be counted. And all of that was on my part! But we got him there.
And then he had the nerve to turn 18. He's a big boy now, and able to make big boy choices. And apparently able to withstand big boy pain. After several years of talking about it, many design and design alterations; after getting my solemn pinkie promise to not only go along with him, but to get one of my own; I celebrated the 18th anniversary of 18 hours of hard labor-the worst pain imaginable (well, had I not been under the most awesome influence of a superb epidural!) by getting a tattoo with the Teenager.
My baby, my Bug, decided that this would be a perfect time to venture into his own teenage-hood. He turned 13 this year. I'm still not sure he's telling me the truth about his birthday. I mean, I was there for his birth. And I'm certain it happened only a few short years ago.
This was also the summer I got to remember being 18 again. My 20-year high school reunion. As corny as it sounds, it truly was like no time at all had passed. I walked into the room, squealed when I saw my favorite people on the planet from 20 years ago, ran into hugs that simply defined Best Hug Ever, and the last 20 years melted off of each of us. And in my case? 100 pounds went right along with it. I could pretend, for 72 hours, that I was just as I was then. Fortunately, my friends went right along with that alternate reality. There is a reason I love them.
And while that experience may be the highlight of my trip home this summer, it can possibly be topped by the journey there and back. Road trip with my boys!! We spent 14 hours, each direction, laughing and singing along in the car. We talked, about girls and life after high school. And we argued over who got to eat the last licorice rope. Had that stubborn Teenager not cheated by sticking them all in his mouth and sliding them back out again, covered in his slimy germs? I totally would have won that argument, too.
Back home again, and time was running out. We still had so much to do, and not a lot of time left. In true-to-myself fashion, Bug and I fulfilled one of my promises to him in the Go Big or Go Home style we try to embrace here. He had been begging me to dye his hair purple since before school even got out in the spring. Finally, as I was wandering the hair color aisle at the grocery store, fate smiled upon my boy. Fate in the form of the ONLY box of purple hair coloring left on the shelf. Only after I got it home and in his hair did I check to make sure it was a temporary dye, and is supposed to come out completely after about 24 shampoos. I'm not entirely sure he's using shampoo every morning in the shower, as there is still quite a bit of purple still in there.
And finally, we came to the end of our summer. School started in three days. Was there even time to fit anything else in? Honestly....who did they think they were dealing with?
Night Ranger. Foreigner. Journey. We saw them all in one night. No matter that the boys really had no idea who Night Ranger was. That portion of the concert was really more for me. But when Journey took the stage? Both my boys (and a couple of extra teenagers I'd picked up for the fun! Mouse and another friend of the Teenager's) were on their feet for the entire set, dancing and air-guitaring their way through song after song. In the rain, because is there a better way to enjoy lawn seats to an amazing concert?
I don't think I realized just how amazing my summer truly was, until just this moment. It was so .... full .... and I didn't even talk about Bug's last All Star baseball experience (beyond amazing!), or the soul-soothing visit with my own mama while I was home for my reunion.
Oh! And did I mention I got a fabulous new haircut?
Huh. Maybe all of those English teachers really do know what they're doing when they ask for these essays, after all.