Sunday, August 20, 2017

Long summer days

"In the summer, the days were long, stretching into each other. Out of school, everything was on pause and yet happening at the same time, this collection of weeks when anything was possible."
-Sarah Dressen

As the summer dwindles into mere weeks, I look back and wonder how we crammed in so much in such a short time frame. Every year we manage to do it. And every year I tell myself never again. Yet I know I'll do it again next year. And the year after. Because it's these long summer days and busy weekends that get us through the winter months. We often find ourselves in the midst of a blizzard in below freezing temperatures daydreaming about these very days. So, yes, next summer I will find myself in the same exact place, wondering how we managed to do everything on the bucket list.

Soon, my phone will be beeping me awake, and I'll walk quietly through the house to wake not one, but two sleeping boys and usher them through the morning routine, wave good-bye as they board the bus and are gone for hours upon hours. Suddenly, our days of splashing in the kiddie pool and drawing chalk monsters on the driveway and packing up for weekend adventures will merge into structured schedules with packed lunches and practice spelling tests and homework assignments and chasing the last light of the day to get it all done. One busy season will fade into the next, and I'll be left wondering how we crammed it all in. Because one thing I'm perpetually learning is there is no slow season. There are ebbs and flows, one moment melting into the next, and the breathing between the highs and lows.

The precipice of change is where I find my bearings--the weeks and days leading up to the impending shift in our days. We are currently soaking up the last of our summer, while the new school year looms. My mind drifts to the days ahead: how we will tackle the obstacles, iron out the details of having two in school, two with after school homework. I worry away the details until I feel a sense of peace, and then let go. Because you must. You can't live in the worrying of the details forever.

So with the remaining time we have left--before my middle guy takes the big leap into his educational career, and I try so very hard not to dwell on his growing and stave off the emotional rollercoaster that accompanies this big change--we are crossing off the few remaining things on our summer bucket list: tie dye shirts, water balloon fights, beach day, etc.

A few weeks ago we packed up Ted, our trusty camper, and enjoyed one last summer camping trip. Another box checked on our bucket list. We've camped a lot this summer. Five, to be exact, with one more planned in the fall. Most of the times we met up with other people, but this particular time was spent with just our family of five. Grilled homemade pizza, juicy watermelon, sticky s'mores, Eggo waffles toasted in the camper. Park adventures with newly made friends, beach day spent constructing a fortress of sandcastles, nights huddled around the crackling fire. Tantrums and tears, jokes and laughter. Bike rides around the campground, carting dolls in doll strollers, lazy mornings in the camper, late nights at the camp site. Camping can be exhausting with young kids. It very rarely goes as planned. But it's most definitely worth every second.

Now excuse me while we attempt to check off the remainder of the bucket list. Next up: Lake house!

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