August

It always feels to me that the end of summer goes too quickly and not nearly quick enough. In May, I’m energized by the promise of glorious weather and long weekends. This summer I had Fridays off from work and I was drunk with the possibilities of all the adventures me and the kids would have. This was going to be the summer of hiking and exploring new places. The kids and I gathered around a big white piece of paper and made our “Summer Fun List”, filled with activities we wanted to do this summer: go to the beach, to the drive-in, camping, taking ninja warrior class, visiting the Children’s Museum. In May, the summer stretches before you, all blank calendar pages and possibilities.

But then June slips by in a breath, July is gone in the blink of an eye. But August drags on. Perhaps it is because it is the busiest month of the year for me at work, or just because everyone in my family seems to function better with the steady routine of the school year, but August feels like the last mile of a marathon: inevitable, painful, slow, and with filled some possibility that someone will poop their pants.

(That last bit may only apply to people who got the same stomach bug I did last week)

Our summer bucket list is about 60% accomplished. As is my usual M.O. in life, I wildly overestimated what I can accomplish in a given time period and undervalued how we actually spend time in the summer. We didn’t go camping or to check out this nearby state park that’s supposed to be beautiful. Instead we went to the pool 25 times. We checked out library books and sat on the porch reading them, all our hands dipping into the big bowl of popcorn. We scratched our mosquito bites and had Popsicles for lunch.

I’m not sure how to measure if we had a good summer or not. My husband would tell me that there’s no point in trying to measure these things. We had the summer we had. But I worry. Was it good? Will the kids remember that we had fun? Can I be a good mom if I forgot to have them shower for like two weeks there during swim lesson season? Did we have enough adventure to make up for the fact that I’m back in the grind of long work weeks and weekends filled with running errands and going to soccer practice?

Sometimes it freaks me out when I think that there are only eight summers left before Miles starts college and 13 summers for Ev. I don’t know how many summers we have where they’ll be happy to spend long days at the pool with me or get excited about a fresh stack of books.

So maybe it’s okay if this August moves slowly.

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