We sent them back to school today.
It was hard.
I was up at 3:30 AM thinking about the summer — had I missed anything? Then I thought about what needed to happen before 8 AM. Had I missed anything there? Doubtful. I spent the last few weeks trying to quietly transition them back into school mode, and most of yesterday clearing the decks so that departure today would be as smooth as possible, hopefully setting the habit for the rest of the year. (Spoiler – I didn’t account for the most erratic factor: The children themselves, who were nonplussed that their water bottles were washed and ready to go.)
Once I reassured myself that snacks are packed, close laid out, forms were signed, I let myself mourn for a little bit.
Summer is not the time when we are our “best” selves or our “worst” selves. It is the time when we are our most authentic selves. The kids especially have a lot more say over their routines and schedule, and this sense of choice and freedom lets them be who they most are. Some days that’s hard, most days it’s wonderful. And as exhausted, or frustrated, or confounded as I sometimes got these last few weeks, I was privileged to see them unfold once again into who they most are and who they most. It’s something I want to throw my arms around for a little longer.
Today the world begins to act upon them once more in significant ways. And as much as I want to prepare them and myself for any and all possibilities, we all know that’s unrealistic. Instead, we can just instill in them the belief that whatever comes at them they can handle, as they have handled every single thing life has thrown at them so far.
Don’t get me wrong, the house is absolutely quiet, and I have craved that for 10 weeks. We’re back to school rhythms, which give me more space for writing.
But I am aware how lucky I am that my summer rhythms are largely for parenting. I am also aware that this is why I am so tired and leaving this season with more wrinkles and gray hairs than I entered it with.
So ends Summer Funtimes 2018.