There's no graceful way to end summer and begin the school year. For the past week we've hovered in the space between summer and school, our toes curled over the edge, waiting to take the plunge. It happened for me this morning when I taught my first class on campus, and it'll happen to my two older girls tomorrow morning when they climb onto the school bus.
It's a shock to the system, but we're ready.
Besides, we lived large this past week and fully enjoyed the final fruits of summer. Joel and I spent an evening sampling great bites at a local wingfest and listening to an 80's cover band. In other words, musically speaking, I was entirely in my zone. Culinarily-speaking, Joel was entirely in his zone. It was a happy night, a glorious union of applewood smoked bacon and Tainted Love.
Plus, once I returned from campus this afternoon, I loaded the van with towels and sand toys and drove the girls to a small lake about 15 miles from our house. This trip to the lake was one of the few entries still languishing on our summer bucket list, and by golly, we were going to scratch it off even if we did so during the proverbial eleventh hour as summer drew to a close.
I'm so glad we did.
As the girls played, their minds were fully in the present. No worries about getting lost in the hallway or wondering who you'll sit with at lunch can exist when you're busy digging moats in the sand and catching salamanders in buckets. As I watched them, my mind was fully in the present as well. (Apparently, no worries can exist when you're listening to your children talking to salamanders. Goodbye, little salamander. I'll miss you, but I'll come back and visit you again.)
And that's how a summer ends. One day it just stops, whether you feel prepared or not, and then you take the next step.
Goodbye summer. We'll miss you, but we know that you'll come back and visit us again.