Monday, August 26, 2013

Sentimental

Summer still has a solid month to go, but ask any parent or student: it’s over.

School buses will be cruising our neighborhoods, shuttling kids off to another school year.  Community pools will be closing, even though we’ve got a good four – six! – weeks of warm weather ahead.  What’s the point in staying open if your customer base is spending those days sitting behind desks?  College students are away from home, leaving empty rooms in family homes.  Homework will soon become a regular part of life for parents and students alike.

School supplies have been amassed, teacher assignments delivered, new shoes purchased.  What is it about the summer that makes kids’ feet grow a size or two?  It’s only a few months.

Kids advance into a new phase over each summer; it amazes me how much they grow and change from June to August.  Their friendships change, they learn new skills, they have new adventures.  Over summers in the past my kids have learned to ride a bike, saw Mount Rushmore, first walked to their friends’ houses unsupervised.  They’ve mastered a particularly difficult video game, done back flips off a diving board, and learned how to do laundry. By August, my kids are totally different people; they are older, wiser, bigger.

I talk to a lot of moms every day; these are my people, my tribe.  We get each other.  We all agree that summer is wonderful, that our kids grow so much during this time, that even though we will miss the free, unstructured days of summer, we look forward to the first day of school.  We love it and hate it.  Beyond the bravado, the gleeful countdowns, we are wistful.

I always find myself a little bit more emotional during these last few days before the school year starts.  Though my kids may feel like I enjoy the back-to-school season a little too much, it makes me sad.  It may be the knowledge that my calendar will suddenly become important; no more will I forget the date, what the day is.  We will be on stricter schedules; bedtimes and mealtimes will be less flexible.  We will be driven by more than what kind of ice cream to eat tonight.

What I am mostly sad about is that things change so much when summer ends.  The people who were around me all summer long, who I saw grow and learn, will no longer be here every day.  Family dynamics change when a new school year starts.  Things become more serious, faster-paced.  Change is not always bad, but how it makes everything so different is what sort of hits me at the end of summer.

Summer is a sentimental season, and I’d like to stay in it for a while longer. I like knowing that we are making memories that will stay with us for the rest of our lives, like knowing that my kids will remember that they learned how to ride a bike, saw Mount Rushmore, and learned back-flips during summer. 

When I look at it this way, I guess I do want them to grow up, no matter how hard that may be on me.

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35 comments:

  1. Oh Andrea...Toss those kids a pop tart and throw em on the bus. LOL... just kidding. nice read.

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    1. I know, I know. This time of year has me all teary and stuff. Thanks. xo

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  2. Yes, this, exactly. All of this, I couldn't have said it better. I am wistful about the summer ending, and still trying to get used to the seriousness of the school year again. And yes, SO much faster-paced....always getting homework done so we can get ready for dinner so we can get ready for bed. Sigh.

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    1. "Hurry up and get ready so we can go on to the next thing!"

      Yeah. Not my favorite state of being.

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  3. I feel like my children seem to grow up over the weekend, never mind over a few months.
    It does all feel very new, doesn't it, the new school season? I can smell the winds of change....

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    1. EVERYTHING is new. The clothes, the teachers, the attitudes...

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  4. I have been clutching on to summer desperately but it's still fleeing anyway. It's not waiting for me to catch up and be ready for it.

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    1. This is the story of my life. About all I can do is hold on; I'll never be ready.

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  5. I feel like I am just starting to enjoy the summer since I quit my job!
    I should have quit a long time ago. :)

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    1. Enjoy it all you can! Something tells me you will enjoy the fall season, too. And the winter, and the spring. :)

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  6. I have the cutest grandkids.😍

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    1. You do have the cutest grandkids, Anonymous!!! I feel the same about my own!! LOL!

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  7. I am in a state of deep depression right now that Summer is ending....I hate it. I love all of the Fun and new memories we make during Summer break!! And yes now all of the craziness starts again! The constant beat the clock feeling stinks!! I do wish everyone the best for a Great new school year!! You said everything I am feeling Andrea!

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    1. We are not alone! I think just about every mom feels this way. If they don't, I need to buy their handbook. :)

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    2. I feel depressed too--every year. So sad when the pool closes and the homework begins. I miss having access to my kids whenever I want it. ) :

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    3. I've never thought about that perspective - having access to my kids. Yep, another reason to bemoan the passing of summer.

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  8. Exactly how I feel! I'm trying so hard not to whine and cry about the end of summer...bad example for the kiddies and all that...but I am so SO sad to see it go!!

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    1. Yeah, me too. Although... pumpkin spice coffee, Halloween candy, the smell of autumn. These are the things that are keeping me alive right now.

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  9. I get sentimental at summer's end, too. I always cry the first day of school - it is such a big milestone to me: another school year, bigger grade, end of a season, beginning of a new one. Change is good, but it is hard sometimes, isn't it?

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    1. It is SO HARD. I don't cry, but I definitely wander around the house a little more than usual on the first day.

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  10. This has only my fourth "back to school" since becoming a mom and it's me leaving, not them, but the idea is still the same. I feel this in all of my heart parts. Today I made a special breakfast for the boys. We cuddled more and I cried when I put Charlie to nap for the last time.

    Even though it's not the last time...but for the summer it is.

    I so get this. Great post.

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    1. I remember the days before the kids started school and the end of summer was still hard. There's just something about the end of this season that makes me sad.

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  11. My boys are so tan and fresh form the summer and I hate to see that fade... in many ways. And yes, the start of a new school year ALWAYS makes them seem so much bigger... Lovely post, my friend. :)

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    1. Thank you! Tan and fresh - exactly how my kids look. Strong, big, a little wild, still in their summer clothes as they walk to the bus. :)

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  12. The rest of the year is a lot more serious isn't it? I think that's the big difference. I know exactly what you mean. I've been feeling like this myself the last week or two. xx

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    1. As I ran around the first day of school, I thought to myself, well now, this is how it's going to be the rest of the year. I don't think I like that.

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  13. Before this year, summer was just another season - the HOT one. Now I fully grasp the concept of embracing summer and making the most of it.

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    1. Yes! I try to, anyway. Some summers I'm better at that than others.

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  14. You know, I've been waiting for summer to be over because my 5yo is driving me nuts, but you're right. Summer is different. It's slower and more about the stuff we do and the time we spend. Things will change next week, and after that it will never be the same because he'll be in "real" school.

    Hm.

    Thanks for this perspective. :)

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    1. When my kids were small and drove me up the wall, I couldn't understand why moms lamented summer being over. I thought that the school year would be bliss - nothing could be better than having several uninterrupted hours to yourself every day. Now I understand.

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  15. Love it and hate it, exactly right. The school years are the milestones by which my kids are measured, and it hurts my heart to think that my eldest could be a fifth grader. Where is my baby boy?? He is ready, but I'm not!

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    1. I know, right? I'm not ready for them to grow up, but I can't seem to stop it from happening. :)

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  16. I've been teary too! Part of it is that my baby is starting Kindergarten - how the hell did that happen??? And the rest is exactly what you said. I can't believe what a big girl she is, how independent, how much NOT my baby she has become, even just over this summer. I miss the summer already.

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    1. Oh my goodness - kindergarten! She will love it, and you will too. I'm actually getting a little teary with you over this. :)

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