Technically, it's still spring. But it already feels like summer here. The air is hot during the day, warm at night. The leaves on the trees, a bright, spring green just a few weeks ago, already have that tired look that summer in the south of France brings.
"Things" are happening, too: end-of-year shows are being prepared, and the first wave hits this week: two "concerts" for the songs learned at school this year, plus two "circus shows" to mark the end of the year. The last circus classes will be next week. The school end-of-year extravaganza will be held on 17 June. School ends on 1 July.
The girls are starting to get excited about the long holidays - 9 weeks! This year feels "finished" for them, their sights now set on CM2 and CE1: which teacher will they have? Will they be with their friends?
For me, the seasons barely change. Yes, I enjoy the warmer weather, no doubt about that. But it makes me more self-conscious (if that's possible) about my body, my skin, my age. One advantage of not being involved in beach trips any more is that at least I avoid the dreaded swimsuit trauma most of the time (I think I was at the beach here 3 times last summer? Maybe? And twice in Spain. Quite a feat for someone living just 10 km from the Mediterranean...). Summer also means memories of the past - as a real family, a family of four, we had fun in the summer months. The beach, the lake, picnics, barbecues. Journeys to the Alps, the Pyrenees, Italy, the Basque country. Late nights at funfairs... All finished now.
Summer is time. Lots and lots of time. And not enough time. The girls need activities, entertainment. I need to work. But I also need to get away, with my girls, somewhere-that-is-not-here. For now, nothing's planned, everything I look at is too expensive. But oh, how I want to get away! Just a week would be enough - I haven't taken any holiday so far this year and I'm worn out, worn down. I would love a week in a hotel, just the three of us. Visiting things, eating out, eating icecreams, being just maman, not having to work. I don't know if it's going to be possible and I see these summer weeks stretching before me.
Friends are coming to visit, and I'm looking forward to that so much! I hope to find a circus course for the girls to do in late August (something to occupy them in those final days when they start yearning for school and friends again). I'm guessing D will take them to his mother's place for a week too. But the rest of the time, I don't know.
I have felt more positive lately, yet tonight, sitting here at my desk, I feel like I'm adrift, floating on a wave so far out to sea, so far from anything that might anchor me down, that I'll never see firm land again. I get through the days, I get through the nights, but drifting, drifting, drifting.
There was a party this weekend, Sunday morning to be exact. For my sweet little L and her friend G, both of whom turned 7 within a week of each other. It was great to organise a party with someone else; a workload shared is a workload shared after all. The parents are great, we had a good time, the party was a success. There were 18 kids, they all had fun. It was a beautiful, hot, sunny day. I felt happy, relaxed, at ease. Till D showed up (as he'd said he would). He didn't stay long, but his presence set me adrift again. I drifted, unable to put down an anchor and stay on dry land. It's always the same now. Being in the same room as him disturbs me more than ever. And with the summer, meaning trips to the beach, he'll be here every day.
I still find it hard to believe I'm living this life. How did I get here? Where did I go wrong? Why did this happen? Is there anything I could have done to change the outcome?
This will be my second summer alone. I'm in a better place than last year, for sure, but I still haven't found my best place. I'm still adrift. And, without the rhythm of school days to guide me, the summer will be another test of my ability to keep control, to keep on top of things.
It's still technically spring, but in my heart it's summer already. I can feel control slipping away, the pull of the great ocean is my siren song and soon I will be truly adrift.