It’s Over


It’s over.

No, no my relationship with my husband, although he wasn’t all that amused when I was making comments tonight about how much I love Keith Urban because he’s so delicious.

And no, Jon and Kate Gosselin have not been eaten by cougars, effectively rendering their 15 minutes of fame complete. And don’t worry, Brett Favre is still officially not retiring. Maybe. Whatever. I think. Brett who??

I’m talking about summer. It’s over.

It seems just like yesterday that it was Memorial Day weekend and June stretched before us, a vast ocean of summer possibilities. The beach, watermelon, sweet corn, bonfires, s’mores, fireworks, farmers’ markets and outdoor movies.

Oh, summer. What happened?

Every year I have these grand plans to get to the pool once a week, go to the zoo every other weekend, have a ton of bonfires, travel to see friends and spend time outside every night. Not to mention the festivals and fairs. I don’t know why I always think this is feasible. It’s like I suffer from summer “over-do-it-ivness amnesia” every year. There are only about 14 weekends during the whole summer. Throw in weddings, graduation parties, birthday parties, a holiday, a vacation, and there’s not a whole lot of time left.

I’m not normally a person who mourns the end of summer. I’m the kind of gal who really enjoys the change of seasons and by the time we’re coming to the end of one season, I’m looking forward to the next.

Plus, I don’t have kids who are starting or going back to school so the switch from August to September doesn’t indicate a huge routine change for us — yet. Although I have to admit I know I’m going to be a total basket case when Monkey starts school. Something she is looking forward to with great anticipation, telling me “I’m going to go to ghoul and ride the ghoul bus when I’m four. Nana told me that.”

I think the reason us parents have such a hard time with it is because a new school year marks such a definite and obvious change in our kids. A whole new grade.

Whereas on a daily basis, we’re hard pressed to notice those changes. How they’ve grown up just a little bit overnight. How they figured out how to say “breakfast” correctly since the day before. Those minute changes that float in and out of our consciousness like a dream on a breeze.

But school. Man, a new school year is so unmistakable. I think that’s why we all take pictures, right? Because we have to capture that moment of recognition that our kids are getting older. It’s as if the new shoes, new jeans and new backpack are all screaming back from the camera, “I’M GROWING UP, DON’T BLINK OR YOU’LL MISS IT.”

At least that’s how I anticipate it feels. I know my mom took pictures of us on our first day of school every year without fail, and I plan to do the same.

(Incidentally, it took me at least three years after college to get used to the idea that years are measured from January to January instead of September to September. I bet once my own kids start school I’ll start measuring the year by school years again. I like it that way.)

Anyway, back to stupid summer being stupidly over. Stupid August. It was so oppressively hot and humid the last six weeks that it was just miserable being outside for any length of time. And don’t even get me started on the mosquitoes. Our play system, patio set and Monkey’s sand and water table were woefully underused.

I was really looking forward to one last summer weekend hurrah over the upcoming Labor Day holiday to pack in all of the things that I wish I had done more of. But now the temps have swung to the other extreme. 70 degrees! WTH! That’s not going to work out so well for the swimming I had planned. I definitely wish I would have had more bonfires (only one!) and sweet corn dinners on the patio (not once), but at least we:

  • Got to go on vacation. Even if it kind of sucked.
  • Went to the zoo twice.
  • Had a picture-perfect Fourth of July holiday, complete with hot, hot weather, all-day swimming, ice cream, family, and grilling out. The only thing we missed was the fireworks because it was too late for the kids, and they fell asleep in the backseat. We improvised though and rocked our inner white trash by sitting out at the end of our little subdivision’s road to watch three area shows with our two baby monitors and my rum and coke. Sweeeet.
  • Cooled off by going swimming many times, but definitely not as much as I would have liked.
  • Enjoyed camping (aka day trips to campgrounds with permanent campers, huge waterparks, indoor toilets and plenty of soap, aka my kind of camping).

And there’s always this to look forward to:

  • The zoo in cooler temperatures (because nothing smells worse than rank animal poop on an 89-degree day)
  • The pumpkin patch
  • Football
  • Sweater coats and jeans
  • Trick or treating
  • Changing leaves
  • Christmas trees

What about you? Are you sad that summer’s over or are you ready for fall?

First day of Kindergarten, ca 1984. Love the knee-high tights, but the Pac-Man bag takes the cake. And my beloved Scooty, always my protector. P.S. Mom, looks like the lawn needs to be mowed. Dad wouldn't be happy.


11 responses »

  1. I probably mowed it that day! Looking forward to fall. Will miss the flowers! At least I didn’t follow you into the classroom with my camera!

  2. I’m a mixed bag of emotions. I love, love, LOVE Fall for so many of the reasons you already mentioned (long walks in cool, mosquitoes free weather, pumpkin farms, trick-or-treating, ditto the sweaters and jeans, drinking hot chocolate, cuddling up under warm blankets while watching t.v…the list is endless), but your post also made me cry when I think about how grown-up my 3.5 yr. old is! She’s totally ready for preschool, and I know it’s good for her; it’s just that whole end of another stage of childhood (the toddler stage). Now, I have a PRESCHOOLER! I’m not old enough for that :oP I keep thinking though, at least I have Claire…she’s still got 3 more years until she goes off to school! That will keep me in baby/toddler mode for a little while at least! You are also so right in the fact that we plan waaay too many things over the summer and never actually get to them. I can’t tell you how many people/friends said we’d get together and with the “craziness” of summer we never did. Another great blog post like always :o) Hope you have a really nice Labor Day weekend!

  3. Jenny, You were so cute!! What is it about dogs and kids waiting for the bus together? Our dog has been down to the bus stop for every pick up and drop off already and I don’t see things changing anytime soon even though he barks at the school bus as they take away his children!

    I am ready for fall…..(although I miss Porter now that he is in 4K)..As you mentioned August was unbearable…

    • Aw, Steph, you just gave me a really motivating reason to get a dog – “he barks at the school bus as they take away *his* children.” Awww. I think a dog is in our future, just not yet.

  4. It’s as if the new shoes, new jeans and new backpack are all screaming back from the camera, “I’M GROWING UP, DON’T BLINK OR YOU’LL MISS IT.”

    You couldn’t have said it better, Jen. 🙂

    Uh-oh, Cheri, is Erin going to think I’m crazy someday because I *did* follow her into her classroom with the camera on the first day of school? I never even thought of that! Ah well, better to learn sooner than later that mothers sometimes do crazy things. 🙂

    • hahah, Amy – actually I was going to tell my mom that I laughed at all the pics of kids in their new classroom because I could just picture that in my head – 20 moms following their kids around, flash lights blasting – but then I laughed again because I know I’m going to be doing that. At least on the first day of Kindergarten. 😉

  5. I will miss summer. And moving onto fall, school, UGH! My son is entering the big Kindergarten, I will totally miss him on one hand and enjoy a little silence on the other. I wish I could follow him into the classroom with the camera but they make us leave at the front door of the school 😦 You are right…it does fee like it goes as fast as a blink! UGH!

    Thanks for visiting my guest post over at Scary Mommy!

    • You’re welcome Danielle! I think I need to start following your blog more closely because I feel like we’re leading similar mommy lives. 😉

  6. I love this… the school year definitely makes me anticipate the school years, and I never gave it a thought before I had my first baby. Now, I think with each month, each season, time seems to fly by incredibly fast because he grows and changes so quickly. I definitely am afraid I’ll blink & miss it!

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