My husband is married to two women. Contrary to what you might expect, this is not a secret. Both wives know about each other, and my husband knows we know. Yours might too.
Currently, my husband is living with his preferred wife. His preferred wife arrives in June and spends roughly three months each year with the family.
Her name is Summer Jill.
Summer Jill is a lot of fun. Summer Jill stays up past ten o’clock during the week and sleeps well into the morning. Summer Jill packs picnic lunches and plans beach playdates with friends. Summer Jill wouldn’t dream of heating up a Lean Cuisine meal and eating it in just under four minutes.
Summer Jill often has no idea what day it is. She doesn’t dread Sunday nights and might drink fruity umbrella drinks on a Tuesday. Summer Jill plans date nights and girls’ night out, without worrying she may have to cancel because she has too much work to do.
Summer Jill is carefree and adventurous. She has been known to pack up her kids, and road trip to a new destination. Summer Jill smiles at strangers. She notices the shapes of the clouds and the number of the stars. She breathes deep and laughs hard. She is relaxed enough to drink large amounts of water freely, never worrying she won’t have enough time to pee.
Summer Jill has numerous home improvement ideas. She attempts to use Pinterest and Googles the latest decorating trends. Summer Jill swears she will organize and clean out every closet during her stay, and sometimes she even starts, though rarely does she finish.
You see, Summer Jill is a strange phenomenon. Despite having ample time to tackle summer projects, Summer Jill rarely completes more than one task in a day. Time moves faster in the summer. Summer Jill is sadly aware of how quickly the hours are passing, during her long, hot, summer stay.
Before we know it, August arrives. It is time for the change.
Nervously, my family begins anticipating the arrival of my husband’s other wife.
Her name is Schoolyear Jill.
Schoolyear Jill wakes up to a cell phone alarm, and begins her day before the sun. Juggling multiple tasks throughout her day, Schoolyear Jill plans lessons, attends meetings, completes paperwork and meets deadlines. Schoolyear Jill gets stuff done.
Schoolyear Jill keeps a frantic pace that is scheduled down to the minute. She can pee in record time and knows exactly how much water she can consume to make it to the next passing period. Schoolyear Jill has learned to eat at an embarrassingly fast rate. She rarely tastes her food.
Schoolyear Jill spends the majority of her day confined to one room, with other people’s children. She yearns for her own, and wonders what they are doing. What are they learning? Are they happy, in someone else's care?
Schoolyear Jill brings work home. Sometimes it is a bag filled with assignments to grade or paperwork to complete. Other days, it is the weight of children’s stories, disappointing test scores, or difficulties with co-workers that come home with Schoolyear Jill, even when her work bag is empty.
Days go fast, but hours go slow for Schoolyear Jill. She thinks 9:00pm is impossibly late. Schoolyear Jill is very familiar with the distinct feel of Sunday, Wednesday and Friday. Schoolyear Jill lives for Friday mornings, which arrive with summer-like exhilaration. By Friday night, Schoolyear Jill is exhausted.
The funny thing is, Summer Jill and Schoolyear Jill could not exist without each other. Schoolyear Jill’s rigid routine leads to Summer Jill’s care-free, spontaneity. Summer Jill’s laid-back, whimsical pace, leads to Schoolyear Jill’s impressive task-management and productivity.
Our summer selves are fleeting. Enjoy them while you can. Our schoolyear selves mean business. They will be back soon.
Summer is our reward and time for renewal. Enjoy every last minute of your summer self.