I always (always!) think summer is going to be a time to slow down and relax. It never is. Ever. But the good news it is always filled with so much great stuff so the busyness isn't a drag the way the rest of the year seems to be.
We've still got five weeks left of Summer Break, so I'm not sure things will wind down all that soon, but in the mean time we're weary but happy. We've been having people over for dinner at least three nights a week. Two are planned and regular, but the third always seems to slip in there. I'm so far past my quota of "14 dinner parties in 2014" I've lost count. Michael, who has always promised to do the dishes if I do the cooking, is somewhat regretting that promise as we're generally entertaining a party of 10-14 people several nights per week. Now is when we wish we were like all the other expats who insisted on only looking at homes with dishwashers!
But it's worth it. It really is. Mainly because at least three nights a week while we sit down to dinner around our table where we can squeeze ten adults, we all get to soak in the result of Shanghai's best summer feature: the low pollution, resulting in blue skies and killer sunsets!
I never fail to stop what I'm doing to give this view the attention it deserves. I can't help it. My kids are tired of me dragging them over to appreciate it with me, but I'm glad this has the chance of starring in the stories they'll tell when they reminisce about childhood and their crazy mother... Like this:
"When we were growing up in Asia, my Mom used to drag us to the window every evening to 'appreciate the view' with her. Now that I'm an adult and live in this random suburban location in America with a view of row after row of master planned communities, I kinda regret not taking the time to truly appreciate that stunning view we had in Shanghai..."
Oh yes, that day will come! We all have it, don't we? That moment when something we completely took for granted (or even abhorred) in our childhood becomes something we most long for or at least appreciate as adults? I look back at my own childhood and am grateful for every single thing. I've repainted every memory that was negative into something to be exceptionally happy about. Mainly because I know that if I hadn't have gone through what I went through then, I certainly wouldn't have had the strength and courage and wisdom and drive to get where I am now.
And the view from where I stand now is pretty awesome! Right boys? Come on over here and look at it with me...