Suddenly, it’s the last few days of summer vacation. Next week, the kids go back to school, which means we’re back to the scheduled life. All of it — the homework, the morning routine, the activities, the mandatory beginning-of-the-year parent meetings — looms ahead of us. It’s not that I’m not happy that the kids are heading back; I am, and if they are being honest, they are too. But I’m not sure I’m ready to let go of summer vacation and that whatever-we-want-to-do-today feeling.
I know, I know — who am I? I barely recognize myself.
The last week of summer vacation is a particularly weird time. There’s a nostalgia for lazy days and not-quite-completed plans contrasted with the frenzy of anticipation and preparation for a new school year. I found myself jotting down the last minute things to do, and I ended up with a strange checklist of must-dos and wanna-dos.
1. Find a truly excellent playground for one more morning of fun. I have this sinking feeling that our playground days are numbered. Only a really good park with different and tricky spinning, swinging, and sliding apparatus holds the twins’ attention — a sure sign that they’re growing up. Sigh.
2. Return to a school schedule. This includes gradually moving the twins’ bedtime back and eating breakfast and lunch at approximately the same time as they’ll need to during school. The change in mealtimes is not a problem; the earlier bedtime, however, is a far harder sell.
3. Off to the pool for one more afternoon of swimming. We really have not had a chance to use our passes very often at all, so strange was the weather. But I’m hoping this week we’ll get in one last chlorine-soaked trip to the pool.
4. Doublecheck all the school supplies, backpacks, and lunch boxes, and label every last thing. And sharpen all those pencils.
5. Go see a last summer movie. My vote is for Percy Jackson and the Sea of Monsters.
6. Log the kids’ schedules for school and their extracurricular activities into our communal calendar. That’s a part-time job in and of itself.
7. Clean up all the piles of summer stuff and projects off the dining room table before we load it up again with school stuff and projects. I’d like it to be clean for at least a couple of days — if I’m lucky.
8. Shop for new clothes. Especially shoes. Why do they always seem to outgrow shoes the fastest?
9. Buy ice cream. Is there any better way to celebrate the end of summer and calm the first day jitters than a big, ol’ chocolate ice cream sundae? I think not.
Are your kids headed back to school soon or are they already there? What are your end-of-summer plans?