I’ve always been fascinated by time but as I have become well and truly middle aged, I’ve become acutely aware of how quickly the years seem to pass, how short some days seem as opposed to how long others seem, how some moments feel like just yesterday when in fact they happened 10 or more years ago. As July draws to a close, I know we are in the last days of Summer. Yes, I am well aware the temps are in triple digits and many in my state of Texas haven’t seen a drop of rain in over a month. But, according to my school district and the email they just sent out, Summer will officially end in a couple of weeks. I’m not ready – not in the least.
No, I’m not worried about new outfits or school supplies. I’ve got that covered – sort of. I’ve bought two shirts and plan to buy the pre-packaged school supplies on orientation day. I’m gonna be super slack ass this year. I’m not ready because I don’t want to send my kids back to school. A few years ago it hit me that I really enjoyed summer time with my kids and I didn’t like it when it ended. I think it all started when the kids became more self-sufficient – probably around age 7 or 8. They could pour their own cereal without destroying the kitchen. They could do their own projects without me hovering over them or reading the directions. They could ride most of the rides at the amusement park. We were no longer working around naptimes and they knew to speak up and let me know if they were hungry, needed the restroom or were just bone tired without throwing themselves to the ground and staging an epic hissy fit. Essentially, summer time became fun again not just for them but for the whole family.
As this summer draws to a close I see changes on the horizon. No, not the change of routine back to school. This change has to do with the kids. They have been spending more time in their rooms alone, not out of punishment, out of wanting alone time. My son asked for more music on his device. My daughter has been in her room reading. Beloved toys are all but forgotten – even timeless toys like legos only received a few days of play. The days of “Y’all go play while I do X” is rapidly disappearing. The kids are growing up. I know this will probably be the last summer both of my kids want to hang out and do fun things with mom. Next summer I will have to come up with more creative ways to encourage both kids to engage in family time and not spend all their time on a screen, at a camp or with their friends. I know this is yet another phase of life – all completely normal and expected. Deep down, I know this. But, every time I get to one of these phases I find that I’m rarely ready to let go and move on to the next phase. In these last days of summer, I’m going to try to cram in a little extra fun. I’m going to try to have a few more days of childish whimsey, if not for the kids then for me. The days are so long but the years are so short.