the end of summer

Fall is approaching much, much too fast. Today it's almost chilly. At least, to me a high of 72 and cloudy skies feels chilly in August, especially after weeks of warm, humid weather and a trip to KS/OK a couple of weeks ago where it was so hot it felt like an oven. The other day I went to Target and the stacks of cheap futons and hoards of kids with their tired, haggard mothers reminded me that school is starting in a couple of weeks. For Daniel, that means preschool, the same place we had him enrolled in the spring, with many of the same classmates and one new teacher. For Anya, that means more time just with me. For me, that means trying to line up work at the school of music and somehow coordinating my schedule to accommodate kid pick-up/drop-off and finding a sitter with the right hours available and hoping that I might actually come out a buck or two ahead once all the preschool and childcare is paid for (unlikely, but I can't charge any more, I just can't.) For Stuart, it means going to work as usual, since he finished taking college courses for good almost a year ago (hooray!).

This is Daniel's last year of preschool before he starts kindergarten. This is my last year of more or less total control over how he spends his time and who he spends it with. I'm okay with this, but I am already having some serious pangs - the bittersweet kind - about it. The last couple of years I have really enjoyed taking the kids to places like the zoo, the children's museum, the farmers market, and apple-picking during the week. This is the last year I can do that. I have also managed a few trips to see my parents in Kentucky or other family in Kansas, just me and the kids (when Stuart can't take more vacation days) in the middle of the fall or spring, something I certainly can't do once Daniel is in public school. So I should really be enjoying this while I can.

Right now, though, too much is in limbo. I'm trying to schedule a 4-hand recital in Kansas like I did a couple of years ago, and while we've finally picked a date (tentative, but likely), repertoire is still totally up in the air. I'd like to try and play for some students at the school of music, but I can't really line anything up until September when the semester starts. Oh, and we're doing this huge expensive basement renovation this year, but we don't have a starting date and aren't really sure what to do first (though my guess is that applying for permits and cleaning it out would be good places to start).

I'm kind of having a hard time with the end of summer. I'm not ready for it. I grew up in Kentucky, where it gets hot and stays hot long enough that by the time cool fall weather rolls in, it is more than welcome. Up here, the days get shorter and cooler so abruptly I often wish we had just another week or two of summer. I want to take the kids to the pool a few more times before it closes (we'd get hypothermia if we tried to go today!), I want to help them fill up water balloons and be glad when they burst all over my legs, I want to wear shorts and flip-flops and enjoy our days free of schedule and obligations just a little bit longer. I'm not even tired of all the summer squash we've gotten from our CSA.

Can you tell I'm ambivalent? On one hand, I would benefit from a little more structure, and the kids would benefit from a little more social time. Of late, they've gotten a little too dependent on me to entertain them, which is understandable but it's wearing me down. On the other hand, there are going to be all these things to deal with in the coming months and I'm feeling a little overwhelmed by that and wanting to cling to this [perhaps false] sense of being carefree for a little longer than I deserve.


Jessi said…
Today, the high will be 81 and I am so happy about that I have been giggling for 20 minutes. Brynna wore pants this morning to school - PANTS! It's the little things in life that make me happy. All this is to say that I'm sorry you're missing your summer already. I, on the other hand, am ready and raring for fall and probably have another month or so of summer-ness (stormy days aside).j

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