This has been the summeriest summer I’ve had since I graduated from college ten years ago. That summer, my friend and I packed all of my things up in my Honda Civic and drove from Pittsburgh to my mom’s house in Atlanta, where I lived for the next few months until I found a job. She had a pool and I had no job, so that summer was spent in large chunks of time on the deck, in the pool, reading in the sunroom, going to the water park when my friends came to town.
Since then, there’s no pool, and there is of course a job, and our house is heavily wooded which means mosquitoes galore, and summer is mostly just like every other season except it’s hotter and makes you reminisce about being 18 with no real responsibilities (and no cellulite, either).
This summer, though. I’m grieving. I’m trying every day as hard as I know how to work through it, heal as much as I’m able, and a big part of that is being good to myself and doing things that are good for me. Vitamins. Working out. Eating healthier. But also, fun. Relaxing. I don’t have set hours at work. Most of my job, I can do any time. Or even delegate things (imagine that). So this summer has featured some things my summers haven’t featured in a long time – afternoon movies, vacations, and that summeriest of all summer things for me – a pool pass. Afternoons spent reading by the pool, jumping in every time it gets hot. Slathering on sunscreen, getting burned anyway, my hair all chlorine-y. Everything about the pool, to me, represents summer, and being carefree, the best time of year.
It’s a community pool, so sometimes there are toddlers, and I wonder if Amy would have been like them, or heavily pregnant women, and I seethe a little bit with jealousy, but it’s the pool. You can’t be sad for long at the pool. I can’t, anyway. I’ve got my Kindle and my junky novels and cold sodas and my sunglasses, and I answer to no one and swim when I want to. Summer. And it feels amazing.