It's becoming very clear to me that I'm not sure if I am celebrating or lamenting the end of summer. Every year it is a bitter sweet change for me that is enhanced now that the children are in school. I remember when no one was in school and the change of seasons was simply that, a change of seasons. I would hate to see the warm weather go and the days get shorter but my day to day life really did not change all that much. Back in those days, there was never a change in my life as each day looked and felt exactly the same. I had no Monday blahs, no TGIF, no look forward to weekends just morning, naptime, noon, naptime, dinner, and bedtime. My measuring stick was shorter. I celebrated naptimes and trips to the mall and stressed over getting out the door on time for my 9am Coffee Break group.
As I look back on those days, I can't say that they were easier or harder, they were different. I only had a couple of cherubs to take care of so I guess those days were less busy and I didn't have to divide my attention so many ways, but my kids were smaller and they needed constant care. These days, even though I have a 1 year old, I also have 7 & 9 year olds to fetch diapers, pour milk and find lost blankets.
Now my years are divided into semesters again. August means school supply shopping and regular bedtimes and eventually back to school. Although I loathe fighting the crowds at Target and Kmart, I do love picking out new folders, spirals and pencils. It makes me feel like a kid again. I love the way it represents a fresh start. I get excited buying a clean empty spiral with a Strawberry Shortcake cover and often, I buy one for myself too.
I get less excited over the back to school routine. These last 10 days before school starts, mommy stays in bed much longer than usual. I may see the clock at 6:00 but I roll over and indulge in sleeping until 8:00 because I know that soon that luxury will be a memory. My pillow feels softer, my bed feels more luscious and I delight in the lavishness of staying in my pj's until lunch time. It is sort of like the last piece of chocolate or last bite of cheesecake before you start a diet. (My diet is a whole different post!)
I know that in the end, the routine is good and that we could never live without it. I would not survive in perpetual summer with no schedule, continual late nights and endless parties on the pool deck. Even those things after 3 months are starting to lose their appeal and are feeling more routine than special.
Time marches on and there is nothing we can do to stop it or even slow it down. But I do think it's good to mark those moments, celebrate what was good and look forward to the future. It has been one great summer, one I'm afraid we will always want to repeat but will never quite get the recipe right and so saying good-bye is a little hard. But I do have a brand new spiral notebook that I can't wait to open!