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Farewell Sweet Summer
Farewell Sweet Summer
The beginning of summer vacation is similar to the night before Christmas. It is not visions of sugar plums which dance in our heads but the delightful anticipation of summer days. Summer vacation is an enticement to weary students and teachers. It is the impetus to keep on trudging through. Would the average kid continue slugging it out the last nine weeks of school without the expectation of the last bell, the last hour, the last day? It is what spurs them on. It's what spurs us all on.
Summer begins with great promise. Everyone has a list of merry little things to be done. We are hopeful of jaunts from the mundane. Days spent at the beach or by the pool loom before us. We yearn for summer days. And finally, it is here. Free at last, free at last...then, like snow to the sun, it is gone.
Students, teachers, and parents like me enter the new school year in a dazed like stupor, wondering where did it go? Books become an evening staple, replacing barbecues on the back patio. Parents kiss leisurely summer mornings goodbye with the return of hectic carpools. Movie nights and sleepovers are relagated to weekends and alarm clocks are set the night before. No more reliance on our inner clocks.
I overheard a teacher's conversation today. She said, " I am ready to get back." Well, yippy skippy for her! I am not there yet. I am experiencing a time of re- entry, a deprogramming as it were. I have to become accustomed to my teacher husband, and our kids being away all over again. I must get my mind around the idea of a new season, with new challenges and opportunities. Summer allows us to put on the brakes. Soon we will have the peddle to the metal.
Every fall I have a brief time of sadness when contemplating the setting aside of family freedom. This year I am having a difficult time shaking it. Why is not a mystery to me. The youngest of my five children is entering kindergarten. The eldest will be exiting high school. I should cross the threshold of a new school year as an optimist, viewing my cup as half full. Undoubtedly, entrance into kindergarten and 12th grade are each accomplishments and should be seen as a genesis, not an end. But, as I have already said, "I am not there yet." I have been viewing the coming year not merely as a beginning, but of 'the beginning'. That is, the beginning of the end. We will always be a family of seven, but our ranks will begin to shrink when the eldest trapes off for college and the commencement of a new life. This is how it should be. As for the kindergartner, he will be around for a while, but this is the first time there is no one waiting in the wings. There is no one on deck. Our home will produce no new kindergartners. He is the last I will teach to read and write.
The countdown to our children's departure began in the delivery room. We started to let go immediately as good parents should. But, suddenly the countdown seems portentous. Summer is turning to fall. We had such a merry list of deeds to be done. We find ourselves in a dazed stupor wondering, where did the time go?. It was here... and now, like snow to the sun it is gone. There are joys ahead, but I am not there yet. For now I strive to embrace the passing of sweet summer.
(Ecclesiastes 3:1 For everything there is a season, a time for activity under heaven.")
The Passing of Sweet Summer
Campus Crusade for Christ
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