Last year, I was a man suffering from stress. The weasels had hardly been at school two months, and they were on their holidays. In fact, only the two Elder Weasels had even been to school, and now they were going to be on holiday for the best part of three months. By the time the holidays were over, they would have been on holiday longer than they had been at school. That didn’t make any sense any way I sliced it, and I was feeling put upon.
At first, of course, I had Mrs Dim on hand to help out, and it was glorious. We’d not had a full Summer Holiday together for a long time, since Mrs Dim’s various jobs didn’t give her a lot of leave. But now she was footloose and fancy free, if a little cranky about the enforced unemployment. Then within a couple of weeks of the holidays beginning we got a new dog and she got a job. As well as wrangling the regular weasels, I had kids from the complex coming round to play. On top of all this, I still wanted to convince myself I was a writer, so I was trying to get plays finished, write reviews and sell myself to anyone who might want stuff written down.
That was then. This year is different. For one thing, we’re not in that complex anymore, which means the kids don’t have the same handy supply of friends. Bad news for them. Mrs Dim is at work for most of the holiday season. Bad news for me. I’m at work for a lot of the holiday season. Bad news for customers of the Largest Home Improvement Retail Store in the World. But we’ve thought a lot about this holiday. The weasels are booked into various camps and entertainments. They’re going to spend some time down in the US with their cousin. We’ve had two weeks with Mrs Dim’s parents visiting, and now my parents are on their way out here (and they’ll be babysitting for at least a couple of days, but they don’t know that yet.)
The biggest sign that this year is different is the lack of the Dreams Poster. It usually looks something like this:
We haven’t made a dreams poster this year because all the things we want to do are sewn up. We’ll be taking parents to visit the places we love to go (The Aquarium, Stanley Park, Grouse Mountain) and the camps are full of the adventurous things the weasels enjoy (archery, canoing, eating stuff…)
So although this year I am running back and forth between Domestic God and Man of Work, and Mrs Dim only have a chance to talk while one of us is dozing in front of the tv and the other one is ironing, it’s not so bad. I don’t feel the desperation I did last year, staring at the beginning of ten weeks of holiday. In fact, we’re done with the first week already and I barely noticed. The sun has come out after a fortnight of grey cloud and drizzle, and we’re heading off to our local spray park as soon as I finish fiddling with the computer and make up some sandwiches. I may take a pen and pad and write some more of my brilliant play. Or print out my friend Lucy’s notes on my latest screenplay and frown over them through my sunglasses.
It’s Summer, it’s Canada, it’s BRILLIANT!