Everyone I hear from seems to be so happy that their kids are going (or have already gone!) back to school. Obviously these people love their children and love spending time with them, but are ready for the structure and schedule that school provides. I keep hearing so many sighs of relief that kids are gearing up for school while parents are heading back to work following week long family vacations at the beach. It seems as though most of the moms I talk to view the fall as a respite from a fun, yet long and exhausting couple of months.
And I’m feeling sad that the summer is ending.
Trying to work with limited daycare and piecing together alternative childcare solutions in an effort to save money has been challenging, but the payout of taking banked vacation days to spend time with my daughter has more than compensated for those challenges. I’ve been soaking up the beach days, road trips, outdoor adventures, go karts, late bedtimes, and nightly ice cream. I’m a bit blue that summer is coming to a close because, well, pardon the drama, but I feel like my freedom has been snuffed. Now that school is in full swing, the idea of taking a random day off to be punished with a “school absence” feels too restrictive. No one is keeping track (besides my boss, of course) when I want to take a Tuesday off (with proper planning, of course) on a sunny summer day to go to the beach. And you get so much bang for your buck: night doesn’t fall until bedtime. Maybe this is part of what makes summer so sweet? Endless days.
We’ve created a lot of memories this summer – memories that will probably disappear from that busy little 4-year-old brain by the time December rolls around. We’ve logged lots of family hours, but just as important, my daughter and I have had a lot of girl time. And I’ve had the opportunity to watch her and listen to her. I’ve been shocked by not only the amount that her skinny little legs have grown, but by how mature she’s gotten, how
fresh she’s become her personality has developed, how her vocabulary has expanded, and how her observations on the world have blossomed.
And as she is racing toward the next grade in school, I am desperately trying to recall conversations that we’ve had, take snapshots in my head, and fit in as many hugs and kisses as she’ll allow before she wiggles free from me to engage in her next activity. So I’m preparing myself for our summer skin to fade and readying her one-size-larger-than-last-year fall clothes.
And I’m sad that summer is ending.