This year the weather has been weird. One day it is 50 degrees and the next 80, as if summer weren’t sure if its turn had come yet. The official start date for summer this year is June 21st, and so technically we are still in spring.

I’ve been looking forward to the summer of 2013 and in a summer-y mood for almost two months. However just like the weather, my favorite season is getting off to a mixed start. We hit a few bumps before our family vacation, but Cancun smoothed up everything and got us more ready to embrace a new season of learning, exploring and bonding. But then came the big flop the Wednesday morning after we got home. Jane got up at 7 am to get ready for her internship job. Half an hour later she got an email, “My house isn’t ready. You don’t need to come today.”

Jane’s boss had informed her earlier that her marketing firm had given up the office space and she had been conducting business out of her home. And the plan was for Jane to go to her house and she’d take her to various marketing events. The boss lady hasn’t contacted Jane since that morning. If she is treating her customers the same way she is treating a young lady who was eager to work for her, her client base will shrink rather than multiply. Seems like this is happening already.

Without a job to go to and many friends around to hang out with, Jane is falling back to the typical teen lifestyle: lots of TV, late bedtime and waking up in the morning. Even a couple of years ago, seeing Jane lying on the sofa watching TV with snacks and drinks on the coffee table would have driven me crazy. I might have pushed her to find a job at Target or just do something, anything. But now I looked at the situation from a different perspective. It isn’t her fault that the internship fell apart. Next summer most likely she’ll work a 9-5 job (big corporations are not hiring sophomores as interns. We tried.) She is going to have another carefree summer after graduation, and then hopefully a full-time permanent job. Life will be very different from that point on. So this summer is life’s little gift for Jane and gifts like this don’t happen very often. Therefore why not let her enjoy it while she still can?

These days I am buying lots of food and taking out a lot of garbage. Soon I am going to miss the people who make the food disappear from the refrigerators.

I advised Jane to follow up with the boss lady and let her know that she is still interested in learning from her. I offered her a job to help me with Jake’s after-the-summer-camp activities and the editing of my book. She agreed that this summer would be a perfect time for her to nurture some hobbies and get fit. Jane and Michelle have been baking and I absolutely loved the muffins they made. They have been going to the gym regularly and just having fun in general.

A poet friend of mine who read LET GO informed me that there were typos. Jane read the book from beginning to the end in one night and highlighted all the typos and punctuation mistakes. I communicated with Lulu that these embarrassing mistakes needed to be fixed because they made Lulu look bad as well. My project coordinator (the third since the start of the project) agreed but I still had to pay an additional fee for the service. Jane is going to verify that all the changes are made correctly when it’s done.

In LET GO, I told a story of an argument between Joe and me and I ended up refusing to get into his car and walked 6-mile home. Jane thought it was funny. She said she had done the same thing to Jim although she didn’t walk that long distance. We looked at each other and chuckled, “Like mother, like daughter.”

Jim visited last weekend. We went to downtown Chicago sightseeing and meeting with some old friends. Jim and Jake really connected this time. They were just adorable together. Every time a new person enters the family picture, the whole dynamic changes. The addition either enriches the interpersonal family relationships or hurts at least some of them. For example, when Jake was born, four new relationships were starting to form: Jake with his parents and siblings. These new connections in turn influence how we relate to one another. We are looking forward to Jim’s next visit.

At dinner table in Chicago, Jane and Michelle were teasing Jake, “Jake, how are things between you and Robin?”

“Oh, she doesn’t have a crush on me any more.”

“Why not?”

“You know, we started arguing about everything and that just kills the crush.” Jake giggled loudly with the all the attention he was getting.

Everyone burst into uncontrollable laughter.

Wow! My little guy has already got this relationship thing figured out. What he needs to learn now is how to make things work in spite of the personal differences.

Tomorrow will be the first day of summer. The prelude didn’t happen exactly according to plan, but that’s the way life way. It’s up to us to make the best of every season, every week and every day. So have fun, enjoy your family and the beautiful sunshine!