Farewell to July!
If ever a poem were written called “Farewell to July,” I haven’t yet heard it. But I can pretty much guarantee the lyrics are written in the heart of every teacher and every mom and every student. Because no matter how much you love learning, love structure, and love kids—this song is no rhapsody.
Are you tired of wet towels rumpled around the back door? Tired of half-eaten popsicles and ant stings and really, really long car rides? Flip flops that flip but don’t flop? Setting the alarm for 4 AM so you can wake everyone up to catch the plane that will keep you strapped to your seat for 5 hours? (And that’s what we call a vacation)
“Why is it,” I asked my daughter, “that when I move over the calendar for a glimpse of August, my adrenaline surges like it’s the 9th month of pregnancy?” My whole summer to-do list shoots before my eyes like the booming bright fireworks I watched 3 weeks ago. There’s that one last closet to organize, and that wilting flower bed that’s nowhere near the vision I thought it would be. I haven’t yet lost those last ten pounds, sent those friendly cards in the mail, or returned that borrowed platter with chocolate chip cookies.
“Maybe,” said my daughter, who had her second baby 5 months ago and freshly remembers the near-panic nesting stage, “you’re remembering how every school year you promise yourself you’re going to stay on top of things and about 3 weeks into it you realize you’ve lost every ounce of free time.”
“Yes,” was my reply.
That would be it exactly.
Now I’m not about to complain. I’m not sad it’s over—I’m happy it happened! Remember that spontaneous swim with all our clothes on, just because we didn’t want to bother changing? And how hard we laughed when the grandkids exhaled into their loopy straws and bubbled their milk all over the table? Remember the gas station dinners (a chili cheese dog and black licorice, mind you) that felt ridiculously indulgent? Sunrise at the beach? Horses in the meadow? Fresh raspberry ice cream? Midnight runs to Redbox?
Why, I even talked my husband into getting a pedicure with me! Sans the polish.
So I braved Wal-Mart today, because pencil boxes were a dollar each and I had to buy 25 of them. And you know what? Those Back To School banners weren’t as awful as I thought they’d be! I lived, I breathed, I was joyfully consumed in my summer vacation. So what? No regrets!
And when school begins in another few weeks, I will immerse myself just as richly as I did in June and July. Because life is good, no matter the season. And everything brings with it a unique sense of adventure.
Now, I’ve just got to find that last little bit of entertainment on my summer bucket list—I’m just craving a ride on a roller coaster!