Somehow, while I was checking the Ann Taylor Loft sale page for clearance capris or reapplying industrial-strength bug spray, most of the summer slipped away. There are now three weeks left until Miss M starts her next school year as, of all things, a second-grader, thus ending my seasonal reprieve from lunch-packing and hour-long morning commutes. This summer has flown by even faster than usual. I got back from the beach, and then ten very quiet days afterward, the kids got back from beach part deux. We celebrated Mr. Baby’s birthday, and less than a week later, my parents were in town for the 4th of July. We enjoyed a great holiday weekend, highlighted by a baseball game featuring fireworks, a walk-off homerun, and paratroopers – quite possibly the most American three hours in history - and then suddenly, it was mid-July.
I’d like to think I can linger over the next few weeks, but they promise to be just as fleeting. I have personal writing deadlines to meet and a week without the kids at home, which are each individually the fastest ways to make hours pass and combined may tear a hole in the space-time continuum. Our summer will officially close the last weekend of the month with a trek to the ancestral homeland for Corn Capitol Days. Growing up, this trip was always the beginning-of-the-end of summer, but thanks to an insanely aggressive school calendar, our return flight will be on Miss M’s last day of vacation.
Fortunately, Miss M is much more excited about starting a new grade than she was a year ago, and Mr. Baby will be returning to the same daycare, which should make the transition a lot easier on all of us. Well, on them, anyway. During the summer, the full-on responsibility portion of my day shrinks from twelve hours to eight, and I cherish those four extra hours of relative freedom. I’m still not quite ready for the 5:50 a.m. alarm or the 5:15 p.m. pick-ups, and the resulting exhaustion that seeps over into the rest of my time. As a child, I thought parents were immune to this annual dread (and maybe as a full-time at-home mom, my mother was), but now I know that the groans heard when the back-to-school banner goes up at Target aren’t all coming from the peanut gallery.