Week's End (Summer's Start)

Three endings—two schools, one camp-at-school—plus one transition from the Younger Group to the Middle Group for a not-sure-she-wants-to-be-that-big three year-old for one parent (dear spouse, hanging with rare books’ librarians in Baton Rouge, Louisiana) equals one tiring week (for everyone, frankly, although I’ll reserve the right to say our week at home was more wearing than the hubby’s week away).

Cue, summer 2011.

The day before my solo week began, I went strawberry picking (a flat’s worth, in my freezer) taking the country road to Upingill Farm (in, yes, Gill, Massachusetts). I’m not a big driver. This was worth the drive, though, luscious unsprayed berries and the particular calm that poring over berry bushes brings me. I love the stained crimson fingers and I love the taste of warm, sweet smash of strawberry in my mouth. You cannot get that at a store—or even a farmer’s market.

That day, my eye was totally bothering me and from being so uncomfortable, I felt really tired and worn out and almost didn’t go. I’m so glad I did. Side note: I ended up going on my own and as lovely as the idea of berry picking with very small children is—and can really be close to home—figuring the drive in, I was glad to have gone without anyone who might whine or trample berries on bushes.


The timing of the eye debacle is funny (for me) because I’m going to be chatting a bit on a Facebook Community page about finding a pediatrician to your liking or loving (I heart my pediatrician, so I guess to your hearting would be the technical term). I’m not a big doctor user. I am interested—on a personal note—to see whether this exercise—part of summer 2011 for me—gets me to be more savvy and even to utilize my doctor’s smarts more. For the record, I do like my pediatrician (more on that some other time, I’m sure).


One other thing, a (very talented) friend sent me an article from the LA Times on “Facebook envy,” a.k.a. when you wish that your life resembled your friends’ lives (Monte had breakfast with Wilco, for goodness’ sakes). She said that she feels—in a good way, mind you—my blog does something different, that I make real life—not the glossy version—feel approachable and welcoming and worth wanting over a glossy version (if I am getting her meaning correctly).

This week was so not glossy.

I’m going to take that compliment and hold onto it.


Here’s the cute tug on my heart of the day: the little girl confessed that she wanted to go—stage whisper, “to the Younger Group” this morning. When we went to the bathroom to wash hands first thing, she wandered into the old classroom and stood by the door looking at the new (much smaller) girl with envy.

Talk about bittersweet.

The nice thing about having gone through a lot of transitions like this with my kids is that I know—not only intellectually but deep, deep down—that she’s going to love her Middle Group-er-ness—soon, even.

Experience also allowed me to name my rising eighth grader’s sadness yesterday after the last day of school, unleashing some tears. We took some time together to walk in the rain to town just to get some milk and really to hold his tender state in a safe way, the two of us.

We also made a plan for the first day of vacation.

Meantime, the new swings (old swings, new structure) are at the ready. All we need is for the rain to stop.

Sarah Werthan Buttenwieser

Author: Sarah Werthan Buttenwieser

Sarah Werthan Buttenwieser's work has appeared on the New York Times, Salon, and the Manifest Station amongst other places. Find her on Twitter @standshadows

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