At the top of the big water slide that is summer vacation, I pause only briefly to remember what the trip is like to the bottom. There are plenty of days that are filled with activity, productive and otherwise. There are weeks that stretch out like empty coloring books with all sixty-four Crayola crayons sharpened and ready. We try desperately not to color outside the lines, but invariably we do, but it can't matter because it's summer vacation.
Soon enough, however, those expanses begin to shrink and time grows short. Panic sets in as the days begin to creep into darkness. Back to School flyers start showing up in the Sunday papers right after the Fourth of July. The clock is ticking and we have hardly begun our journey down the highway to nowhere.
The notion of doing nothing on summer vacation is appealing enough. Hook me up to a feeding tube and hand me the remote. I can read a book if I can only find someone to turn the pages for me. All the sleep that was mitigated by anxious nights and early mornings will be paid back in full to the slumber bank. I will emerge from this experience rested and refreshed. I will be ready to return to whatever fresh challenges await me in the coming year because I have done what I had to do: I relaxed.
Or I will do what I do: Fix this. Replace that. Drive here. Fly there. See this movie. Watch this show. Fix that thing that I thought I fixed when I started this list. Stay busy because nature abhors a vacuum, which is to say that nature would rather that we used a broom and a dust pan. And that's how we roll. Ready to start? Here we go!