A number of my book launches have happened in late May, early June. This is also the time of year when my car’s state inspection comes due. So I have a lot of memories of sitting in the Acura dealership working on book related stuff.
This year was no different! It was a full weekend – the sort that had me saying, on Sunday, wait, did that just happen on Thursday?
There was a lot of work and family stuff mixed together. I had submitted an essay on Off the Clock to the Wall Street Journal’s Review section. They emailed me on Thursday at 5 p.m. that they could run it Saturday IF I could do a very quick turnaround. My parents were visiting to see various end-of-year activities. I had planned to take them and my daughter out for a casual dinner after dropping the 11-year-old off for his performance call. That dinner did not happen. Instead, they took the 11-year-old, and I turned a 1000-word submission into a 700-word essay (what space they had) from 5:30-6:30. I then made it to the play on time. I got edits back during the play, got home at 9 p.m., and turned around the copy by 10 p.m. Then I had a glass of wine with my parents (you can read the essay here, but behind the paywall).
The 8-year-old had an end-of-year swim party and a baseball game during this time.
Friday featured time working in that familiar Acura dealership waiting room. Good times. I did sneak in an hour of reading on the porch in the afternoon while everyone was gone. At night all 8 of us (family + my parents) took my husband out for a birthday dinner (after the 11-year-old had a pool party…). He really thought we should include the kids. We ate outside at a local Mexican restaurant. Eating outside was great – I am always a fan of margaritas outside – though 3 of the 4 kids wound up watching stuff on phones in order to get through the dinner without issue. I think this may have disillusioned my husband to more large family dinners. We had ice cream cake afterwards at home.
Saturday morning I got up and ran 7.6 miles with Jane along the Schuylkill River Trail. The honeysuckle was in full bloom so that was lovely. I had been talking with one of the morning shows about doing a segment on Saturday morning, and that did not happen, but this was a good alternative.
After, it was off to another 8-year-old baseball game, with my parents and the 3-year-old (my husband took the 11-year-old to another performance, which the 6-year-old saw twice). Then a playdate at our house. I took the little kids in the pool. We got ready and went to the 8-year-old’s piano recital in Wayne. He played “From a Wigwam” with aplomb. The other kids managed to make it through the whole recital. This was because, mercifully, there were only 13 songs. I am a big fan of this approach to recitals.
We took two cars because I had to drive to downtown Philly. The reason: I was recording a segment for the Australian Today show. My segment aired Sunday morning their time, which is Saturday night here in the states. It seems Off the Clock is coming out this Friday in Australia! So…if you are reading this in Australia, please pick up a copy. And tell your friends!
The segment went well and it was fun to be walking around Philadelphia on a beautiful Saturday night. I drove home with the windows open.
Sunday was more chill. I was on 3-year-old duty in the morning. I ran on the treadmill while he watched Go, Diego, Go, which is not something I could do easily a year ago, so I’m grateful for this time dividend of the kids getting older. We also did a lot of puzzles. He was able to put many pieces together. I went to church for the choir’s last service until September. After, we had planned to all go to Linvilla for fishing and strawberry picking (a frequent entry on my Summer Fun List), but it turned out that they weren’t picking strawberries. So we regrouped, with me taking the 6- and 3-year-old to a farm in Plymouth Meeting that was actually far more manageable. We picked until the rain started. The 3-year-old fell asleep in the car on the way home, and stayed asleep on the couch, so I sat on the porch and read for an hour as I listened to the rain (Penelope Lively’s Moon Tiger – based on a reader suggestion!)
After, I baked strawberry shortcake with help from the 6-year-old. Then many chores – such as cleaning the van, which is a bit of a disaster. Teaching the 8-year-old to do dishes. Family dinner. More work. Trying to get the 3-year-old down, which took forever due to the afternoon nap. So it goes, I suppose. I’m trying to get better about reading ebooks on my phone as I sit in his room waiting for him to fall asleep, but I’ll admit there’s a lot of social media scrolling. It’s a process…