I was going to try to put these in some sort of order, but I couldn't decide how to do that - rank things by the order of importance, chronological order, in the order of the certainty with which I think they will happen - too many ways to think about them. So, here I present, in no particular order, my summer bucket list for 2016.
1. Get this boy adopted. Anyone looking for a three year old neutered male love bug lab? He is, like Mary Poppins, practically perfect in every way. My recommendation is that he not live with very small kids, as he has some minor food aggression issues. Other than that, he gets along with people and other dogs just fine and is really looking for a home where he will be loved (and snuggled - he REQUIRES snuggling).
2. Eat some rhubarb. It's SO bad for me, and I shouldn't eat it, but I love it and am going to have to have some this summer.
3. Give up my long commute! I got a new job that pays more, has better benefits, and is closer to home. I'm super excited to start later this month and say sayonara to my current toxic workplace. I am also really looking forward to working with the people I met during my many interviews, and to doing my best in my new role.
4. Spend time with my dad. My parents will be up for about six weeks this summer, so that's precious little time to spend with him and I want to make the most of it. I miss him so much.
5. Have some non-programmed time with the kids. They all have camp and other things going on this summer, though we are down to about four to five weeks of stuff per child, but it will be nice to just have the time to go on a spur of the moment trip to the ice cream stand or do other things that are more spontaneous. Plus, that give us some time for just hanging out.
6. Read! Reading has been a great escape for me with all the stresses this year, and I've read more books than I usually do. My daughter is doing summer reading for school again this summer (so she doesn't have to take her English midterm) so I will be reading the three books she has to read as well as whatever I want to read.
7. Family vacation - we were going to do a road trip but after the murder, we decided to take the youngest three to Disneyland. We aren't renting a car, either, so no driving stress for the adults. We are just going to spend a week in an alternate universe, truly escaping reality. El Esposo and I talked about this and agreed that a dose of fantasy was something all of us need.
8. Floating - I tried floating in an isolation tank (aka sensory deprivation tank) over the weekend, and I'm hooked. I walked out of there in such a state of bliss, and it lasted. I felt mentally and physically renewed. I still feel good. I know part of that can be attributed to quitting a job that was taking a terrible toll on me, but the float was almost like wiping the slate clean on all the stress and worry that I've been feeling for the past six plus months.
9. Court - I went last week, and there is a promise of more court dates this summer for the two people arrested in conjunction with my stepson's death. They are both being held without bail. I can't say enough about how wonderful the local and state police, district attorney's office, and victim witness advocate have been to us.
I can't really describe what it was like to be in court last week because it was so out of my normal reality that it doesn't seem real in some ways. There aren't words to say what it is like to sit staring at a young man who took the shooter's clothing and shoes, which were covered with my stepson's blood (and the blood of other victims), and gave him new clothes (right after the shooting), who took the murder weapon and disposed of it, and who lied to police about it.
We also learned some details about the murder that I don't want to discuss on the open internet, but it filled in a little more of exactly what happened. This is one of those strange situations where you both want to know and don't want to know, and it makes you feel better and worse to know.
10. The last thing on the list is a small kernel of an idea that needs to be explored further. We are working on doing something for my eldest stepson, not sure what yet. He has mentioned wanting to visit Toronto. That's a work in progress right now, but I am looking forward to being able to do something for him. He's shouldered a lot of the burden of dealing with his mother, and he deserves a little escape.
Things I'm not sure about this summer: knitting, 4th of July weekend, Labor Day weekend, and the tax-free shopping day that usually happens in August in Massachusetts (and which has never motivated me to buy anything, lol). I have no plans for these, I feel like I might want to have plans, and I would love to hear some ideas if you have them.