Without fail, every year, just when I seem to hit my summer stride, it’s time to go back to school. Note that it’s me I’m talking about, not the kids. Of course they are not ready; we’re absolutely united in mourning the waning days of summer.
As relaxing as summer is supposed to be, I find it crazier than the school year routine. There seem to be more schedule variations and pick ups and drop offs, more hiccups and such. And it takes time to settle into that level of busy-ness. The first week after school lets out is usually very stressful, with each successive week getting better and better. It typically takes me about six weeks to find the routine in little or no routine, stop stressing about it, accept it, and find my groove.
A routine in no routine
Once I find that groove, we are all more relaxed. My office days are more productive and my home days are more enjoyable. The kids have their relative freedom and I watch the clock less and less. What was getting out of the house to the beach on a schedule in June (yes, I said “beach” and “schedule” in the same sentence) is far more loose in August. But even in these looser, easier days of August, I find myself extremely protective of our remaining time in the sun. It’s good, we all know it, and we want to make the memories.
When, in early August, the school letters start arriving, it feels like an intrusion into our carefully developed fantasy world. It’s too soon, I think. Someone is a killjoy, I think. But then I look at the calendar and even though I knew it said August, it hits me like a brick: it really is August, and school is just a few short weeks away.
Three weeks too short
It doesn’t help that “Back to School” sales have been going since two weeks after school let out. While we were all able to ignore that affront (and seriously, with all the technology out there, couldn’t retailers roll out their Back to School campaigns in a manner most timely to different regions of the country?), we can ignore it no longer. From experience I know that unless I do drop by the local super-store soon, the selection of binders and other supplies will be sparse.
But I — well, we — need just a little more time. Now that we have reached that groove, we need to hold onto it just a little longer. I think summer for us would be the perfect length if we had just two or three more weeks to enjoy this time outside of real time, this time together. It may be fading faster than we want it to, but We’ll hold onto summer just a little bit longer, thanks.