Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Those last precious few hours

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!


Jen said...

I am totally craving the routine. Life has been so nuts here. I just love back to school! I also bought a shiny new notebook. Aqua and brown like the ones Caroline picked out. And Ticonderogas. And Crayolas.

one hot momma said...

yeah! ticonderogas, no smudgies in that pretty new notebook!

I must agree, my friend, this has been one of THE best summers of my life. I too believe that we will not be able to replicate it, but my hope is that the next, and the next and the next will be better and better and better! Thanks for being such a huge part of my great summer!

Carol said...

We will make sure that not just our summers, but also our autumns, winters, and springs will always be memorable. Someone just sent me one of those question emails, like Kim loves... and one of the questions was:

27. Where do you see yourself in 10 years?
Still hanging out at Christine's pool, and skinny-dipping, but with a few more wrinkles and few more grey hairs, but the grey will be covered by some sort of hair coloring! Still getting together on Wednesday mornings, maybe we'll all live in the same neighborhood by then. We'll be having morning coffee on my porch just after our husbands leave for work, or maybe they'll be semi-retired by then and heading out for a golf or raquetball game. Wesley will be 12 by then, and he'll sleep until noon or until Christine wakes him up and tells him to mow the lawn today! Josh will be 17 and will be leaving for work soon, unless it's a week from now + 10 years, then he'll be starting his senoir year of H.S. and he'll be telling me that we need to go shopping for clothes for his senior pictures and he is going to stop and get a haircut after school (or another tattoo or another piercing?). Josh, Emily, and Owen peel off to school together, waiting to get just around the corner to light up their cigarettes. (oh, sorry, that wasn't the future, that was me in the past on my way to high school...I hope our children are smarter. I have been talking about the saying no to cigs, alcohol and drugs for quite some time now with my kids!) T.J. will be off to U of I or maybe Illinois Weslyan for an art degree or maybe architectural. David will either be starting his Senior year, or he finished college in 3 and maybe going to work. Alaina will still have skin tight jeans and high heeled shoes like she had on yesterday, but with a few more curves and she'll still look adorable! Jed will still be very interested in hanging out with Lainey. Colin and Christian are sophomores at Trinity, both their mother's alma maters. They are roomies in the dorm and are the hot men of the campus.
After everyone leaves the house, Christine, Laura, and Carol pour themselves a glass of whiskey and laugh the day away!

Mommy Brain said...

Sounds good to me!

one hot momma said...

sounds good except for the whiskey...can we have something a bit sweeter? Maybe, pina colada's, getting caught in the rain, oh, sorry that's a song from when I was a teen beauty! Those 7 year olds better not get be piercing or pinching or puffing!!!, I mean when they're 17, now is ok right? Just kidding! Here's to the future girls!!! And here's to my two best friends in the world! Salute! (that's cheers in Italian!)