The Official End of Summer
I wrote about its beginning 80 days ago. I was an anxious mother/pastor/individual at that point. I can now say that I did in fact manage to not only survive the summer, but to enjoy most of it. June was great. Then the heat came. I’m not talking regular summer heat, but “when did I arrive in Hades” heat. Too hot to let the kids play outside for any length of time. Too hot to take long walks, much less run. Too hot to even enjoy the beach. If you know me, then you know that means it truly had to be beyond oppressively hot.
In all honesty, I think that summer would have been perfect if it had ended around the third week of July. By that time, the kids were getting antsy and bickering became their favorite pastime. By that time, this mom had endured about as many weeks of 24/7 as she could stand. About that time, our annual trip to the (relative) coolness of the heaven known as “Montreat” had to be cancelled due to serious family health issues.
Three weeks ago, I dragged my worn-out, burned-out hiney to the farm for a week with family. I got to meet and cuddle my new great-nephew, play with my adorable great-niece, and enjoy catching up with my beautiful niece and my parents. I got to return to my farm-girl roots and help move cows. (Side note: If a very large, ornery cow wants to go a direction different from the one you want her to go, pointing your finger at her and yelling “NO!” in your sternest, most no-nonsense Mother voice won’t necessarily work. I think I’m out of practice. As a farm girl, not as a mother, that is. I can “NO!” with the best of the moms out there. For the record, she obeyed, but only because she was too busy laughing at me to do otherwise.) I got to hide away in the camper for sound sleep at night and take a nap almost every afternoon. Oh, and I almost overdosed on the Olympics.
That gave me enough energy to return home just in time for the Hands of Christ outreach days at our church. Three days. Over 800 children. Uniforms, school supplies, excited children, stressed parents, compassionate volunteers, and noise. Oh, and thunderstorms. There is simply nothing in this world more exhausting. Or more satisfying. Can’t wait to do it again next year!
Last week was filled with last minute preparations for school and getting ready to move Anna to her apartment downtown. I just want to ask, who gave her permission to be 20, a college junior, and ready to move away? I’m quite sure it wasn’t me! So Friday we got her moved. Saturday the kids and I attended not one, but two birthday parties for super-special people. (Happy birthday, Cathy and Janice!) And then Sunday we celebrated my youngest daughter’s birthday. I was super excited for/with Mia about turning 9 until a church member pointed out to me that it would be her last year as a single digit. Gee thanks, Melvin! One year until my baby is double-digits! Tell me, please, who is handing out growing up permission slips to my kids left and right without running it by me first?!
And then it happened. Monday. The first day of school. The first day of all of my kids happily engaged in the work of growing up at their respective schools leaving me alone and free to . . . Wait. What is it that I’m supposed to do when I’m alone and free? Hmmm. It’s coming back to me: Go to the gym! Run errands quickly and efficiently! Engage in uninterrupted thoughts for more than five minutes at a time! She’s baaccckkkk!
Confession. I missed the monkeys. I was ready to pick them up at 2:10 and to hear about their first day back. And I met my 20-year-old for lunch on her last day before college classes start. After all, we had to celebrate Cathy’s birthday today. It was the good, right, and fun thing to do! (Another side note: I have a new favorite restaurant – Page’s Okra Grill. Mmmm, mmmm, good! Lunch next week, girls – after Cathy gets back home?)
It’s been a good day. It’s time for the seasons to cycle back around as we all take new steps toward growing into who we are to become. Even I am still doing that. Growing isn’t just for kids, you know. I can’t wait to see what we learn, what we do, and how our personalities evolve over the school year.
I better pay attention because before I know it I will be writing another beginning of summer post!