Today, while shopping at Target, I came across something that signals fall’s impending arrival more than any colorful leaf out there: parents who are done. I’m sure you’ve seen them, heck, maybe you are them (I was just this morning!). I love my children more than anything, and we’ve had a great summer, but it’s time for structure to return and school to resume. I’m a teacher, and I go back to school next week, so this is our last full week together. My children have been home with me 24/7– no camps, no summer programming– and I think even they feel ready to see other people at this point. The wise words of Jen Hatmaker are ringing in my brain:

“Oh, don’t even say it. I already know. This Mama is singing a different tune and JUST WHATEVER ABOUT IT. Yes, the girl who bemoaned homework folders and daily school requirements and reading minutes and All The Things is now on her knees, begging the teachers to take these children back.

You understand this, right? We had the fun. We surely did. We did the swimming and the vacations and the sleeping in and the loosey-goosey living, and now ladies and gentlemen, I am very much over it. Back me up: summer is too freaking long. Twelve weeks of this is unreasonable. What does summer think we are? Machines? Excuse me, but I’ve never done anything well for twelve straight weeks in my life.”

You can read the rest here, and I hope you do because it’s worth it. No kidding, these things all occurred today and told me that we need fall to arrive here in a hurry:

  • My seven year old tried to pack a lunch of exclusively cookies and juice for himself and his brother to have in the minivan today. Not some vaguely healthy oatmeal cookies that could be construed as nutritious– Nutter Butters. And. Juice.
  • A mom of four children in Target looked exasperated when her daughter (about age 6) emerged from the van shoeless. Like, as in, she got into their vehicle with bare feet and didn’t mention it until they were parked at the store. I wanted to high-five that mom when she stuffed her shoeless daughter in a shopping cart and pressed on with errands.
  • My children watched The Magic School Bus on Netflix for entirely too long and a) I didn’t even care and b) I figured it counted as some level of science enrichment.
  • My sons said they were “sick of eating ice cream.”
  • My flip flops broke. Even they are over summer.

Fall is lovely. Fall gets a bad rep from the summer-lovers out there, but seriously, it’s fantastic, especially in New England. Crisp, cool air, no oppressive humidity, beautiful colors, local fairs and festivals, pies, warm cider…and routine. Sweet, sweet routine and order will return. So hang in there, parents! It’s been a lovely summer, but fall is coming!