My best friend and I still sometimes like to joke about the time when, on our last day of summer vacation before my junior year of high school, I spent half the afternoon crying my eyes out on the floor of the living room in my parents house because summer was over and, woefully, I had just reached the conclusion that I hadn't done a single noteworthy thing in that entire three month span. I woke up one morning with that whole promising vacation stretching out before me into a vast unknown, and then suddenly, school is starting the very next day! What on earth was I to do? "Why don't you go see a movie?" my mom helpfully suggested.
"Nooo," I wailed, as she and my friend exchanged wondering glances behind barely suppressed laughter. "Summer is over! And I didn't DO anything!"
Oh, brother. So melodramatic, I'm able to admit now. And yet....here lately I've found myself gripped by that same sense of urgency, a panic of sorts that the last blazing embers of summer will slowly die out and I'll be left without even the vaguest recollection of it's warmth. Obviously, a simple glimpse back through my blog archives will prove to me how much we as a family really have done and accomplished over the summer, but nevertheless, I've been trying these past two weeks to hold off the inevitable winds of change, packing as much as I can into these final weeks of freedom before embarking upon an entirely new trail of uncharted--and frankly, quite terrifying-- territory.
I think I'm ready for school to start. On the surface, anyway. Our final curriculum order was delivered today, the schoolroom shelves are supplied with an intoxicatingly fragrant collection of brand new wooden pencils, brightly colored rubber erasers, crisp pocket folders, reams of lined paper, and books, books, books. (Please, somebody tell me I'm not the only one who loves the smell of brand new school supplies.) But honestly: when I think about actually having to pull it all together day after day after day...I am scared senseless. Suddenly, all my careful planning doesn't matter one whit, because I am clearly just not up to the task of bearing the entire weight of the enormous responsibility I carry on my shoulders as the primary educator of my children. Why did I think I could do this?! (Actually, these brief moments of self derision are thankfully few and far between, but gaining frequency as the "Big Day" rapidly approaches.)
So I'm employing the best tactic I know of to keep from going too crazy; namely, distraction. Not only does it keep my mind occupied in the now, but it also helps to ensure that there will be no question in the days ahead as to what we "did" this summer. It's been quite pleasantly overcast here these past couple of weeks, so the kids and I have been playing out in the yard more. I took them swimming at my brother's house recently, and was quite proud of myself for managing all three kids without Darren. We went to a cookout at my grandparents house, enjoying the company of many aunts, uncles, and cousins seen too infrequently. I read Harry Potter AND Mom to Mom, Day to Day. I loved them both. I've been a cleaning fiend, attacking nightstand drawers and bathroom cabinets with a fervor usually reserved for either a new baby or expected company; in this case, neither...just an overwhelming desire to have all things "perfect" by the time we start our school year.
Today was particularly lovely. Heavy thunderstorms lingered for much of the day, providing the perfect ambiance for some simple baking. We made two loaves of zucchini bread with squash from our garden, and, while I didn't place too much hope in actually attaining edible treats (having seriously deviated from the recipe when I realized I didn't have exactly the right ingredients, after all), I was pleasantly surprised to find that they were really quite... well, delicious. Yay! We also made a second batch of Puppy Chow this afternoon, which Matilda linked to in a recent post. This stuff is so good. Seriously, you have to try it! (We made some for the first time last night, after dinner, but it was long gone by mid-morning today.)
I had the opportunity to head out in the rain with my camera while the kids were eating lunch. It was beautiful, so fresh and clean and cool and invigorating. I'll close with one of my favorite photos from today. We're leaving for a weekend trip tomorrow when Darren gets home from work, and I am so excited! We'll be visiting not only my brother's family (!!!), but also my cousin and her two daughters, who will be in town for the weekend. Great times await us! I'm so eager to get going. When we get back, I'll have to seriously map out the coming weeks and months. Here's my chance for one last summer bash; crying on the floor at this age just wouldn't be dignified!