“23 days until summer!!!”


The sign is bright and bold and impossible to miss at the front of the bus. I watch the driver carefully wipe off the three and change it to a two with a vivid orange dry erase marker.


22 days.


That’s what stands between us and summer break.


I sigh a little.


I read all the posts and lamentations about this time of year. I get it. We’re all DONE. It is brutal what is asked of us in these final weeks of school– the parties, the concerts, the orientations, the shows, the presentations, the meetings, the appreciation notes and cards and gifts, and on and on. Brutal.


We’re all tired. As the mercury climbs, motivation drops and we just want to breathe a little. Sleep in. Eat random food on a blanket outside for lunch. Stay up past bedtime chasing fireflies.


porch swing view


Freedom. We seek freedom. Freedom from the grueling, unrelenting schedule that drives us through these weeks in May.


And so I smile and nod in solidarity when I hear the whimpered pleas for it all to just be DONE already. I’ll fist-bump you about the never-ending and exhausting series of events that has us running in circles.


But, then, when I’m by myself just looking at the calendar, I feel a pang of sadness.


I don’t want it to be done.


I LIKE my current life. I love dropping A. off early in the morning to go practice the cello with his multitude of groups. I love getting to the elementary school early and chatting with the secretaries while my girls put away my lunch and chatter with their favorite teachers. I love spending my days either teaching or, on my one or two off days, at home alone, plowing through a zillion tasks and to-dos.


I am busy.


I have a ton on my plate these days and, when my husband asks, “So what’s on the agenda today?”, he often just shakes his head in disbelief at my response.


But I’m happy.


My days are full and challenging and demanding, but fulfilling as all get-out.


I’m not sure I want it to stop.


But then I remember that we have a week at the shore all planned for June. I recall the joy of just sitting at the lake while my kids take swimming lessons. I’m reminded that I can go on impromptu coffee dates with my mom or keep the kids up late just to eat ice cream under the stars…


I love those things, too.


And, so, it’s bittersweet, this time of year.


But I’m going to enjoy every last day of the chaos.


Because– (let me whisper this truth to you all)– I actually really like it. :)

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2 comments to Bittersweet

  • Jennie

    Summer has always scared me. I feel so lost without the structure of school. Last summer I got a part time job. It was just what I needed. I got to have some structure and some freedom.

    You are not alone my friend. My not so popular view, is that I am not meant to be with my kids 24/7. I NEED to be something other than Mom. This sounds selfish but it’s true. When I don’t fill my own soul with what it needs, I’m not as good of a mom to my kids.

    Fill your soul this summer with what it needs my friend!

    Take care.

    • Thanks for your sweet encouragement, Jennie! I loved reading about your finding a plan/schedule that worked well for you– that’s so important! I am, and have always been, the kind of girl who LOVES the stage I’m in and dreads the next. There are good things about this quality, but it also makes it hard for me to look forward to the future. Once I’m IN the summer? I know I’ll love it and I’ll want to cling to it when school starts back up. I’m weird like that. ;)

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