My Summer With Sam

08/23/2009 05:12 am ET | Updated Nov 17, 2011

I have to admit, it was love at first sight. We met five years ago. When I looked into his eyes, he had me at first glance. Sam's blue eyes have a way of sucking in everyone around him. He has charisma. This summer we've decided to spend some down-time together. But in mid July I realized a lot of my own stuff has slipped. I'm writing less, spend less time on my motorcycle and rarely see friends.

The one place I do seem to get to is the gym. Sam's big on that...
I find myself going to some old self-help stand-by's. I picked up Melody Beattie's Co-dependent No More. The book is a manifesto on self-care. I wondered, am I doing enough of it, given the summer I'm devoting to Sam? Years ago I promised myself I wouldn't lose myself caring for someone else. The book talks about not being someone else's savior. I'm also turning to Julia Cameron's book The Artist's Way. In that classic, she talks about protecting your inner artist, taking her on dates and not letting others get between you and your art. This summer Sam has definitely slowed down my creative writing. Although, because he is an artist in his own right, I do find myself painting and drawing a bit more than I normally would. But mostly, I watch him. Clearly my boundaries have slipped. What would Melody and Julia say?

I also feel like at times Sam and I definitely take turns trying to control each other. He orders me to get him stuff while he's watching t.v. and I tell him to pick up after himself.
Sometimes I feel like I stab a knife into his natural enthusiasm. He'll enthusiastically ask me if I want to spend time goofing around outside with him and I'll flatly tell him, "No, I don't. I have things I have to take care of today."

He looks at me with his baby blues, says nothing but looks incredibly sad. Just add water and mix for instant guilt.

Sam can be very charming. He says really wonderful things. Last week he told me he thinks people are nice to me because I'm pretty. But he also admonished me, "don't marry them."
On my Facebook page I see others are having some of the same troubles. The stifling heat and down time with loved ones is making it hard to breathe for some this summer.

The other factor is that Sam and I have a big age difference. I'm definitely the older, more mature one. He's completely wild, youthful and a bit out of control. Frankly, being around that energy day and night can be completely exhausting. It's even caused me to make a few calls about finding work outside the house. I sometimes think he's feeling the same way himself.
I secretly wonder to myself... is he looking forward to the day this fall when he's no longer home, alone with me? That day in September when things will be cooling off. That's the day he moves to a new stage, a part of his life that won't have me in it. Knowing that date is coming, I'm vowing to take care of myself while remembering to be playful and patient the rest of this summer. This week I realized I can have it both ways. I can take care of my inner artist, set my boundaries and still enjoy time with Sam. I want us both to be emotionally ready for the break and still pleased we spent the summer together. We both deserve that before Sam starts kindergarten.