August 1, 2011
And The Countdown Begins
It's is August 1st today.
That is totally depressing.
In 23 days school starts. And I don't know who is sadder about that fact: the kids...or me.
I know there are some parents who are rejoicing and counting down the days until they can once again send their namesakes off to school. And I have something to say:
I don't get that.
I take no joy in the thought of my kids heading off to another year of formal education - rather, my emotions range between desperation and dread. Yes, I understand that, by August, a lot of kids are restless and bouncing off the walls. Baseball is done. Swimming lessons are over. Camp has shipped little Johnny back home and locked their doors until next summer. So what's a kid, and his parental units, to do?
Oh, where do I begin!
See, in my humble opinion, August is when the true spirit of summer really begins. All the structured, scheduled events are done and the days are truly yours. In North Dakota, the lakes are finally warm enough for wading and splashing, nature is in full bloom and there's no one to tell you that you can't skip town for the day because your kids are going to miss that wild animal class at the zoo or another soccer practice.
Just when I am starting to relax and get into the swing of things, nasty retailers are telling me I need to pack up our swimsuits and start digging out the rulers, crayons and backpacks.
And I say, "How dare you."
Don't you know we have parks to explore and beach sand to roll in? I have not yet gone on that long bike ride with my kids and the tennis ball machine is still up in the garage loft. We have bubbles to blow and a kite to fly. And I still have to get that pizza box so we can construct our solar oven.
There are toads to chase and worms to wrangle and fish to catch. There are books to read and trails to explore and roads to wander. Don't you understand, the tent is still waiting to be pitched and there are stars still longing to be gazed at in wonder and amazement?
No, summer simply cannot be over for our lives have just begun.
And so I will purpose, this one time, to procrastinate. I will not rush off to buy new gym shoes and shiny pencils. I will not hurry to our nearest superstore to get notebooks and folders and markers - even if it means supplies will be picked over and I risk my son's folder choices being between Strawberry Shortcake and Cute Kitties.
No, instead, I will hang on to these last precious days of summer and we will treasure them. We will run barefoot and my sons will remain shirtless and not shower for days ("Mom, why do I need to shower when I've been in the pool/lake all day?" Good question!) We will pitch that tent, gaze at those stars and go for that bike ride.
And if we are late for our first day of school, don't be surprised. It'll be because we were up late the night before doing something really important. You know, something life altering... like bottling fireflies or howling at the moon.
Is there anything you want to accomplish before school starts once again?