Today is the last day of summer in our home.
It is not yet the autumnal equinox, still nearly a month away, when the earth’s orbit around the sun lines it up with the equator and signals the scientific end of summer. It is not yet Labor Day, our cultural end of summer when we as a society mourn the end of long lit days, back yard grilling, and the freedom to wear white, is still a week away. But it is the day before schools start in our town. And so, in our home summer has come to a close.
It seems too soon, yet not soon enough.
While I may miss the freedom of a new camp experience every week or the giddiness of unscheduled days to do anything or simply nothing, I am actually looking forward to resuming routines. I am eager to have loose bedtimes replaced by strict times to head upstairs. I am eager to have meals on the fly replaced by family dinners. I know I will soon complain about the myriad activities from music, to dancing, to sports that will tie up our afternoons and weekends, but truthfully I am looking forward to every Monday resembling the next, every Tuesday resembling the next, and so on and so forth. I will miss spontaneous snacks of ice cream or popsicles to seek respite from the heat, but all of our bodies will do well with fewer sugary indulgences and more planned fitness activities.
While I am just a little heartbroken that my babies–and their snuggles, and their drooly kisses, and their incomprehensible coos–are growing into beings who speak in full sentences, write prose, do long division, understand the orbit of the far better than me, and tackle the many other learning tasks that they will master by the start of next summer, I am looking forward to their intellectual growth and the constant surprises that will come with it. But you know, their dad and I welcome the increasing independence from the neediness of small children. Going out for a run is easier. Running errands is easier. Life is just slightly less complicated when everyone in the family can speak, has bladder/bowel control, and might even be okay being left alone for small stretches.And so, today is bittersweet. I am sad to say goodbye to lackadaisical, relatively unstructured days of summer. But, I sort of welcome the regimented days and human growth that a new school year brings.