“Every new beginning comes
from some other beginning’s end.”
– Seneca the Younger
It seems like it was only yesterday that I was hanging on every passing day, waiting for the start of summer. I had grown less organized, drowning in end-of-year emails and classroom commitments, barely reading through the contents of the kids’ folders each afternoon. I was dreaming of the perfect summer filled with days languishing under a shade tree, reading great works of children’s literature aloud, holding the kids accountable to their daily chore chart, and cooking summer vegetables from Bepa’s (grandpa) garden each evening.
I fell a little short.
We read each evening but when I should have had them practicing reading aloud to me, I couldn’t help picking some of my old favorites to read to them instead, watching their every reaction.Those chores… they were no comparison to the lazy mornings staying in our pajamas and building forts with the couch cushions or staying at the pool past sunset. And so what if I’m a little behind on the laundry… or the ironing… or the sheets?
I’m looking forward to reclaiming my house, tackling the long put-off to do list, and finding some order and routine again. All completely true. But, I’m equally sad to see the summer end, get back to the go-go-go of managing all the kids’ activities, homework, and social calendar, volunteer work, and car pools.
In honor of the many children starting school at this very moment, what I’m sharing with you today is the Top Ten Things I’m really going to miss from our summer, and the Top Ten that I won’t...
- Waking up on our own… no alarm clocks, no rushing. The kids have been so delightful in the mornings and I know it’s because they are all getting every last bit of the zzzzzzzzz’s they require.
- The smell of sunscreen on their skin at the end of a long day in the sun… and the tantalizing scent of their subtly browned bodies after it’s all washed away in their bath.
- That magic word… Sure. Sure we can stay at the pool a little longer. Sure you can have another ice pop.
- The sense of calm that comes with not wondering if we are prepared for a test, up on our math facts, on time with a permission slip, or where those gosh darn library books have disappeared to
- Not. Packing. Lunches. (Unless they are to be consumed in front of an ocean or other body of water in which case, no problem. I can do that.)
- The sound of their voices as dusk falls and they scramble around the yard attempting to catch fireflies in mason jars.
- The conversations held poolside where an entire topic is covered in a single sitting while children happily entertained themselves.
- Long hours of daylight… a great excuse for another run to the park, walk around the neighborhood, or hour just sitting on the front steps.
- Dining al fresco – crumbs washed away by a hose or eaten by a bird, spilled milk not cried over.
- Seeing their little bodies… chicken legs poking out from shorts... bare backs under criss-crossed straps, peach-fuzzed arms out of preppy polos.
I won’t miss:
- Lathering up four really milky-skinned kids in sunscreen eight times a day.
- The tears when said sunscreen ends up in child’s eyes. Again.
- Trying to convince a three year old that it really is bedtime… when it looks like it’s the middle of the day outside.
- Trying to get the red stain out of the white tee-shirt from the eighth Popsicle.
- Removing splinters.
- Sand anywhere other than a beach… in the car, in the kitchen, in their hair, in my purse, in my sandwich.
- Hot car seat buckles.
- The word “just.” Just five more minutes! Just one more pop! Just two more friends!
- Packing 18,765 items for the beach
- My eldest son’s inability to attend camp due to two broken arms resulting from a jump off the swings at the start of the summer, and his utter heartbreak in missing out on all the activities he looks so forward to each summer: Golf and tennis, especially! Thank God for the new, waterproof casts!!
As the sun set on the unofficial end of summer, I decided I’d focus on those ten things I’d miss. It really was a great summer. I stepped outside and pulled the towels in for what is likely the last time for quite a while. Towel laundry. That’s another summer chore I’m not going to miss. But it sure does beat snow boots and heavy coats!
Team Pennymeade hopes your summer was everything you dreamed it would be, and nothing less! Happy New Year!