It’s that time of year again. The time of year when I look at the calendar and realize summer is dwindling down to the final days.
The countdown to back-to-school has begun and with it comes the inevitable question, “Where has the summer gone?”
The start of summer is filled with optimism and promise as the schedule clears and makes room for long days of lounging by the pool side, gathering with friends, family vacations and late nights roasting marshmallows by the fire (in an idyllic Norman Rockwell meets Pleasantville type summer, of course.)
In the beginning, there is excitement in the air and the feeling that summer will last forever.
And then, BAM! It pulls a Kaiser Soze and disappears. Just like that. Poof. It’s gone.
And I’m bummed.
Even though it can be chaotic, even though the kids fight, even though we are without a daily schedule, even though the days can be a little crazy with people sleeping in and breakfast being served at 10am, even though it’s far from the picture perfect Norman Rockwell world – I love it. I love the crazy.
I love the sounds of their voices and their feet pounding upstairs. I love the music they play and the dances they make up. I love the sound of my children playing with the neighborhood kids and the constant stream of people coming and going, in and out of the house like a never-ending parade, but instead of throwing candy – the parade scatters sand and other outdoor debris leaving a trail in their wake.
Ok, I don’t always love the fighting. I take that part back. That part can be annoying. And the screeching of “MOM!” followed by the inevitable asking for something – that part can also be annoying. And the trail of sand throughout the house from the sandbox that makes me feel like I must be living on an exotic beach somewhere (without any of the benefits of living on an exotic beach other than the trail of sand) that part can be pretty annoying, too.
The more I think about it, maybe the reason I love summer so much is because it’s a concentrated time when we’re all together, but it does have an end. Maybe the chaos is great because I know a schedule is on the horizon. Maybe summer wouldn’t be so awesome if it really did stretch on forever.
Maybe instead of being bummed, I should just be grateful.
Grateful that we have had these fun lazy days of summer and thankful that we are about to return to some semblance of normal as the daily routine makes its way back into our lives.
To everything there is a season and maybe what makes summer so amazing is that it is a season (literally.) It can be anticipated, enjoyed and then let go – with the understanding that it will be back again in all of it’s glory.
This year, summer’s end feels a little different for me and my family. The end of summer is more than just the end of a season we love. It also marks the end of our time in Indiana – the state where we have lived our entire lives.
As we are about to pack up our home and move five hours away, I really have no idea what our new normal will be.
Usually at this point in the summer, I have received the School Pak (I refused to shop for supplies after our oldest child’s kindergarten year, but that’s a whole other story).
Usually at this point in the summer, we have opened the boxes and labeled everything in anticipation for the upcoming year.
Usually at this point in the summer, the back-to-school clothes shopping has begun.
Usually at this point in the summer, the dates for the ice cream socials and meet-the-teacher nights are on the calendar.
Usually at this point in the summer, there is a buzz and excitement in the house as the kids eagerly await their postcards notifying them of who their teachers will be.
I know how the end of summer goes here. I know what to expect. I know what’s coming next.
But the end of this summer isn’t usual.
To everything there is a season. I am learning to appreciate and thank God for the gifts each season brings. I am learning that life is a constant ebb and flow. Things are always changing. I am learning how to not hold on too tightly. I am learning how to let go and embrace this change.
Sometimes things can’t be buttoned up and put together. Some seasons won’t allow it.
I may not know what it looks like to live in Tennessee, but I have to trust it will be good.
Back-to-school is a little different for us this year and that’s okay. We will figure it out when we get there.