beth woolsey

mess maker • magic finder • rule breaker • kindness monger

The Summer Monstrosity

I’ve taken to calling it The Monstrosity.

Greg keeps telling people that we bought it because “Beth is home with the kids all summer, and she didn’t know what to do with them.”

Not surprisingly, I prefer a different spin.  I say we bought it because the kids are going to be home all summer and need something fun to do.

I find it’s easier to rationalize things if I make them all about the kids.

Like this:

“Gosh, the kids would really love it if I buy a giant bag of M&M’s.”


“The kids are probably tired of my cooking.  I’ll bet they’d love a pizza night.”


“Those kids are probably hoping their parents will get away alone for the weekend to a nice, remote location where they can read and sleep.”  (Ha!)

See how that works?

Summer was a long time coming to the Pacific Northwest this year.  2011 is one of the rainiest and coldest on record.  Well, technically, that may not be true, since I just made it up.  But I bet it’s true.  Very rainy.  Very cold.  Very gray.

The bad news, living smack dab in the middle of Oregon wine country, is that there’s tremendous concern about the local grape crop.  I’m trying not to fret or to prematurely plan our move to Sonoma.

The good news is that summer arrived last Thursday.  (Grow, grapes!  Grow!)

Thrillingly, the Monstrosity arrived in a giant box in the mail the same day as summer.  The BEST news is that Ian read the box.  Yep!  My reading- and speech-challenged kid took one look at that thing, marched right up to Greg and me, and said, “Water swide?!  WATER SWIDE!  Yes!  Yes!  Yes!”

And then Greg and I said, “Ian!  You read the box!  Yes!  Yes!  Yes!”

And then, because Ian is LOUD and all the littles heard him, the kids danced happy dances around us.  And I made them knock it off lest the rain gods take it as encouragement and ruin all the grape progress.

Greg got right to work.

And then I said, “No one’s going on that Monstrosity ’til I get a good photo of you!  Stop running around the yard peeing on stuff [that was just to the 4-year-olds, FYI], and get over here.”  So they posed ’cause that’s the only way they were gonna get to swide.

Nothing says, “Thanks, Mom!” like semi-enthusiastic, our-mom-is-so-pathetic grinnin’ at a forced photo shoot.  Obligatory happiness amuses me.  Teehee.

And then I yelled, “OK!  SWIDE, BABIES!  SWIDE!”

And they swid.

And they swid.

And they smiled.  Voluntarily!

And I swid.  But I didn’t let them photograph that ’cause I like you and no one needs to see me in my swim skivvies.  (You’re welcome.)

And I smiled.

The Monstrosity?  Totally validated.

We’re a week in, and it hasn’t popped yet.  That’s 7 times longer than I expected it to last.  Goin’ strong!

My three summer wishes are for the swide, the grapes, and the sun to last and last and last.

Here’s hoping!

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