Endings - FamilyEducation


July 21,2011

I feel it coming--the end of summer. Do you? It's just around the corner, crouched there, and every now and then I catch a sight of it. I pretend I don't see it, though, even though the signs are all around me these days.

Sometimes I feel restless, bouncing around inside the unstructured lines of our summer days. I worked hard the first part of the summer, and spent the first eight weeks immersed in a writing project. 277 pages later it's done now. I still dip into it every other day or so, working through edits and dreaming about what it might become, what I hope will happen to it. But now I feel the tug of the semester pulling at me, scattering my thoughts. A student sent me an e-mail the other day and it was good to hear from her. A colleague called me yesterday, too, and we talked course textbooks and syllabi and I felt that same surge of excitement I always feel at the start of each new semester. Then I hung up the phone and felt melancholy suddenly because I know that even though a part of me craves the busyness of the fall, another part of me is already mourning the passing of summer.

L.'s room remodel is almost done. We just have a few finishing touches left and then we can call it officially complete. Out there a hand on some great clock is inching forward a notch. Middle school is right around the corner, I can feel that coming, too.

Everywhere I look, things seem to be winding down. Our family calendar is cluttered again, and the stores are rolling out back-to-school displays and supplies. T. begged me yesterday to buy her school supplies. She's chomping at the bit, so eager to get back to school again.

On Tuesday the kids had their last swim meet of the season. I have that same surreal feeling I often have when some chapter ends and the ending seems to come much sooner that I think it should. Six weeks is a long time, really, yet somehow I made the mistake of blinking and turned back around to find it gone. I can't say I enjoy every single aspect of summer swim team season but I enjoy and look forward to most of it. I love seeing my kids grow more confident in the water. I am always amazed at how much they learn and how, even though it's not always apparent to me from where I sit to watch practice, they are clearly listening to and learning from the coaches.

We are making to-do lists to help with the back-to-school transition. Next week both kids will sit down each day and work through thirty minutes of school-related activities. This is Scott's idea. I'd just as soon bury my head in the sand and keep the sight of summer's end far away, shoo it from the kids, cover their eyes so they don't see it coming. 

I've never been good with endings.