Summer ends tonight. As we try, in vain, to get the kids to sleep before midnight, the Hubbs and I will mourn the passing of Summer. It doesn't seem possible that we are headed back to school tomorrow. That Caitlin is a third grader, and Mackenzie a kindergartner. I want more summer, which is an odd battle cry, as mother's everywhere are rejoicing that school is starting again. Still, I want more. This summer was so relaxing and enjoyable. It was so nice to breathe again, and spend time with the kids with nothing to do but live. Our schedule was random at best, but we liked that. We thrived in that.
Despite the fact that the school supplies are bought and back packs are packed, I'm not ready for tomorrow. The girls are excited to wear new shoes and new outfits, and I'm dreading every single minute of a harried morning. Dreading the lunches to pack and the ticking clock to follow to make sure drop off and pick up are seamless. I'm not ready to surrender to a schedule, to dive back into a routine. For the first time in my life I loved the "fly" approach. I loved the "I'll do it tomorrow" attitude that I had left behind when I re-entered the work force. I forgot how lovely and carefree motherhood could really be if you let it. If you just let it fly.
My kids didn't read every day this summer like suggested. They didn't crack open any math or phonics work books. We did read some Harry Potter together, some Wimpy Kid when we felt like it, a little Frog and Toad before bed. They did however play outside. They rode their bikes and played with neighbors, and swam. They swam like little fish. They stayed up late and went to bed late and did that vicious cycle that seems impossible to break. I was okay with that. In fact I welcomed that. Some of my best summer memories are of staying up late with my mom. Eating freshly baked cookies well after The Tonight Show started, or heck, ended. My kids will have some of those memories too. Ice cream at ten at night. Smoothies before bed. Cookies for breakfast and lunch some days. I bought McDonald's more times than I'd like to admit, but french fries and cokes are what my childhood memories are made of. It seemed right to let them experience it as well.
Our carefree summer days are coming to a close. We have schedules to make and keep. Dance classes to attend, Girl Scout meetings to plan, mom has to go back to work after taking an entire week to soak up the last little bits of summer. That slow morning crawl that we have enjoyed so much will cease to exist, save for the few Sunday mornings that mom isn't at work. We are all sad to see summer go, even if the excitement of the first day clouds our judgment.
We, as a family needed this summer. We needed to regroup and relax. We needed to refocus. I, personally, really needed to refocus. For me, I'm sad to see summer go, but I'm so happy I really lived it. I'm so happy that I was present, and that I didn't squander it. Maybe we didn't make that Solar System mobile we saw on Pinterest. Maybe we didn't bake all the gluten free goodies we had planned. For me and my girls, that feels okay, because we filled our days and nights with people and family. We filled our summer with memories of sparklers on the Fourth of July, the comfort of neighbors who moved back for good, and swimming with Grandma late into the evening.
We didn't worry this summer. I didn't worry this summer, and it was so freeing. Without the weight of worry I was able to really focus on what matters the most. My family. My husband. My girls. Me. We made memories and took lots of pictures to post to Instagram. We took our sweet time most days, and didn't let the little things make us sweat (save for the 100 plus degree heat of Fresno). I was able to really enjoy the day, with less stress, and it felt amazing. In fact, I don't want summer to end, because I don't want this feeling to end. And even though life today is nothing like life was about twelve weeks ago at the start of summer, I'm happy. I'm okay and quite content with how the cards fell. I realize that there is something to be said for "slow", something to cherish in "uncomplicated".
I'll miss our carefree and uncomplicated days. Life is about to get super complicated and chaotic. I'm not afraid this time around. I have a different mind set as we enter the last part of 2015. I got a gift this summer. The gift of time. The gift of reflection. The gift of really knowing what it was like to make good solid memories. Not just for my girls and my Hubbs. But for me. To sustain me when things get complicated again, when the hard things have to be done. I will have the sweet whispers of this summer's memories in my ears reminding me that life really is what you do with it, and what you make of it.