Anxiety, Family, Life

Stop Saying “End of Summer”

Everywhere I look, I am seeing the words “end of summer” and it is making me mad.

Summer doesn’t officially end until September 23rd but here we are talking about how summer is ending because the kids are going back to school.

I hate this time of year.

HATE. IT.

Hated it when I was in school and had severe school-anxiety. Hated it when I worked retail and back to school meant crowds, messy fitting rooms, and snippy customers. Hated it when my kids were of school age and it meant lazy summer days were over.

I love routine and organization but there is something about the cadence of summer that jives with me more than any other season.

Anna going back to college wasn’t as hard this year because it was familiar; we’ve done this before and I know she will be fine, but nonetheless, it is hard on all of us including her. I not only love my teen, I really like her too and her presence is sorely missed after she goes back. Her energy is also so very missed in our home and we all go through a little mourning period after she goes back to school each time.

I’ve learned that it’s okay to go through this and that we need to give ourselves time to “mourn” her energy being out of the house, which is a big reason why we aren’t beginning homeschool until the day after Labor Day.

It’s weird this year because Ella isn’t really “going back” but rather “continuing” homeschool. It makes me feel a little sadness when I realize that this time next week, she won’t have her friends at home during the day. She’s been socially busier this summer more than ever before, seeing her friends almost every day of the week and we will both miss that hustle and bustle.

And honestly, I don’t love homeschooling. Many reasons, the least of which is Ella herself, but I am not thrilled to begin again and I don’t suppose she is either.

 

I can’t relate to this anymore. Also, it’s ’til not till. 

 

I mean, there are positives to homeschooling: for the first time in seven years, we don’t have to do back-to-school clothing shopping but rather just buy clothing as she needs it. We don’t need to buy school supplies either. I was at Target the other day watching moms and dads, sons and daughters holding pieces of paper directed by their respective schools telling them to bring Ziploc bags of a certain size or wide-ruled paper or Clorox wipes.

That honestly felt a bit freeing although I am having to wade through the curriculum for the year and figure out whether to teach Spanish or Korean, finding the right Math curriculum so that I won’t pull my hair out, paying for actual books and computer programs rather than buying rulers or markers. Figuring out which co-op she should join or what out-of-home classes she wants to participate in.

First world homeschool problems, I suppose.

 

 

 

I told Anna that before she was in school and when she was my only child, summer stretched allllllll the way until it didn’t anymore. Pool and beach days almost collided with crushing leaves under our feet and heading to the pumpkin patch. There wasn’t this huge line of demarcation but rather a gentle glide into fall. I appreciated seasons so much more before my children became school age.

When school begins in August (and in some cases for a lot of you, EARLY August), our summers get cheated, especially when you live in the Midwest and you most likely lose May because of cold and rain.

And don’t even talk to me about June this year.

 

But our July and August made up for it because they were full of sun and warmth, beauty and flowers and the bluest skies. I breathed in the warm humid air that I usually seem to bristle at. I marveled (in the moment, even!) at the fact of just throwing on flip flops and heading out, appreciating the lack of preparation to go to the most mundane of places. I noticed the roadside wildflowers so much more, ate lots of fresh vegetables and fruit purchased from farmers, and sat outside every day that I could even if only for 15 minutes at a time, just to soak up that Vitamin D.

It felt like a reward for the winter we had and I appreciated it thoroughly.

 

 

Still, it’s not enough.

I miss summer already even before it’s gone.

But it’s not physically gone yet, I remind myself even though mentally we are back in the saddle.

We still have a solid month of calendar-summer left no matter what the weatherman, the school systems, your neighbors and friends say.

And I am going to try so hard to squeeze in every last drop of it.

I hope you will too.

 

22 thoughts on “Stop Saying “End of Summer””

  1. Oh I just LOVE this post! We actually (most likely; unless I start panicking) won’t start back to school until the either the last week or so of Sept. or possibly even the first week of October! It makes me feel a bit anxious saying that but I remember we did the same thing last year and though I was so stressed about covering ALL the subjects (especially with a high school student) that I doubted myself so often… figuring we’d never get our schoolwork completed starting so late, we had it all done by the end of May anyway! So this year I am trying to embrace every last day of summer. We spend most of Sept so busy with homeschooling meet ups, Not-back- to- school beach days and just enjoying having all the parks, museums, and public spaces nice and empty again that we never accomplished much school-wise anyway. My sister is coming up with my two nephews to visit and we have a family vacation planned that it seems like even if we wanted to “start school” we’d never get more than two or three days in a row in anyway. Plus I am just not ready! I love summer and our laid back days. I love hanging out in my flip flops and soaking up the sun. Winter will come soon enough and we can cover lots of extra work then when we’re stuck inside.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I think I put way too much pressure on myself last year, so this year I’m definitely going to ease up a bit. I am caught up in this world of homeschool versus public school and I feel this pressure, this tug-of-war even though my daughter seems to love homeschool. So this back to school is a little bit bittersweet for me.

      We are diving in with co-ops and meetups as well as classes outside of the home, so I am hoping all of that will ease the transition from summer to homeschool a bit easier.

      Now if you excuse me, I will be on my patio soaking up that sun. 😊

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  2. I have loved this summer so much. My kids swam more this year than in their whole lives combined. We’ve had pool parties, and camping trips. But I’ll be completely honest with you, I am so ready for fall. First off, I am literally surrounded by trees on my property, and they were breathtakingly beautiful last year. And working from home allows me to sit right next to a window with a wall of trees right outside.

    Also, pumpkin everything. The Pavlovian response to pumpkin started when Back To School started appearing everywhere. Also my kids are my world, and I love them dearly, but they need to get out of the house and get learning! This summer was a free-for-all for them, which is admittedly awesome, but also exhausting.

    Lastly, the pool. As much as I have loved every second in this pool of ours, I am going to be a little relieved to close it up and not worry about it for nine months!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. On a side note though, this post was so full of healthy things, and I loved reading it. I love that you were able to enjoy the sun more, and the little summer things. I LOVE that you were in the moment and enjoying everything. It makes me really happy.

      Liked by 1 person

    2. I get fall-happy after Labor Day weekend because it is all over the stores (although it is starting NOW, which I am not ready for) and the weather starts to get more enjoyable, ie-we can have the windows open.

      So maybe once we start homeschool again, I will get into the mode of cozying up, fall “Hygge” etc. but I am definitely not ready yet. πŸ™‚

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  3. I love summer. I cannot emphasize that enough. This summer though – chaos from start to finish. Very few parts were relaxing. Lot of stress. I do not feel ready to start babysitting, but too bad – because I started last week. It is a gradual start though, because more kids start mid Sept. I have always been happiest in hot weather when I can sit poolside – and I did that for sure. I just want more of it though. I just dropped Eddie off at school yesterday – freshman year. Lad flew out at 5:55 am. Things are changing and it is taking a toll on me. Since life is oh so busy, I have not had much time to be sad about it. Mini has been in Ireland since Wed evening, and she flies home tonight, so I am looking forward to seeing her and hearing her stories. The sun is shining and the pool is closed, but my deck is open for business – so i am off to lay on my lounger and hopefully snooze because I am still not recovered from the driving to and from college myself yesterday.

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  4. YES to all of this! I’m a summer lover, too. It’s driving me insane seeing all over Instagram and FB, people talking about pumpkin spice and sweaters and falling leaves…what?! It’s freaking AUGUST, people! We still have over an entire month of summer to go. I know fall can be beautiful and there are people that are living in states with horrible heat and humidity, but can we just please take one season at a time? Next it will be everyone talking about Christmas when it’s only October. Drives me nuts.

    I also have to throw in that I actually hate fall. That’s when Phil died. And my dad. And my mother-in-law. It also means winter is just around the corner and I *loathe* winter! I’m having anxiety just typing about it, lol.

    Alright, so now I’m off the computer and GOING OUTSIDE to enjoy every moment of this beautiful weather while I can.

    xoxo

    Like

    1. OMG THANK YOU.
      First, I agree with all of what you said because I don’t understand why on Earth we are rushing it. I mean, do people not realize that WINTER is after FALL?
      I love fall too but not in August.
      Oh, friend, I understand completely why you don’t love fall and I would be the exact same way. I loathe winter too and it gives me huge anxiety, so this is why I am trying to soak up as much summer as possible.
      It’s supposed to be gorgeous later this week and I intend to enjoy every moment. πŸ™‚

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  5. I do hate the end of summer but do love new beginnings so I am torn on this subject. Our summer days are spent scheduling fun stuff around shuffling to sports practices and getting summer homework assignments done anyway, so it’s not all free to be you and me up in here during summer months. And of course this summer was spent getting one child ready for college (a huuuuge task for the mother of an “I’ll get it done later” young adult, so this summer was a little more stressful than it should have been).

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  6. If you lived in the south, you could enjoy summer about 7 months of the year, with two of the months feeling just spring-like.

    Good luck with the homeschooling. That sounds like so much to organize and stop on top of.

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  7. I grew up in the Northeast where school never started until after Labor Day weekend. But now I’m a transplant to the Midwest and every year it blows my mind when kids head back to school before the middle of August. I just can’t wrap my mind around it.

    As a homeschooling family, we never really dive back into to academic work until after Labor Day and I’m sure I’ll never change that!

    BTW, found you via Sits Girls Sharefest link party!

    I write about pursuing a life I love over at https://mindfullymad.com. I’d love to have you stop by sometime!

    Like

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