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Chasing Summer

Our camp (the site of the Wishing Tree) had an enormous field that was surrounded by woods, and in the middle of the woods wound a creek.  Sometimes I’d go with some older campers into the woods and down to the creek, and as we crossed the field, I would have to jog to keep pace with their longer legs.  I didn’t want them going too far ahead of me, swallowed up by the trees.

As summer winds down, it feels as if it’s an older camp kid who is moving too quickly across the field, barely paying attention to the fact that I am chasing summer to keep up.

I don’t like the return to school; I never have.  I thought it would get easier, but it has only stayed the same.  August rolls around, and I start feeling morose.  Four weeks left, then three weeks left, then two weeks left… and then there is only one week left and then it is gone too.  The twins are excited to start school again; to see their friends every day even if they’re not looking forward to the return to homework and long days in the classroom. They want to know which teacher they got, who else is in their class.

But I don’t want them to return to school and leave me alone in the house with all the stillness.  It feels extra still after they have been here for weeks, and then suddenly gone again.

I can’t tell them this (can you imagine the therapy they’d need for that burden?); so instead I’m telling all of you.  Because I think you understand what I mean, both wanting them to grow up and wanting them to stay small forever.




1 Ellen { 08.22.13 at 8:18 am }

“Tears, idle tears, I know not what they mean,
Tears from the depths of some devine despair
Rise in the heart, and gather to the eyes,
In looking on the happy autumn fields,
And thinking of the days that are no more.”
― Alfred Tennyson

First day of school blues. I got ’em.

2 Kasey { 08.22.13 at 8:39 am }

I got the end of summer blues too. For different reasons, but I have it none the less. This fall and winter may bring some major changes such a a pending possible relocation so I am sad that summer is ending and change is around the corner.

3 HereWeGoAJen { 08.22.13 at 9:21 am }

Yes. I told Elizabeth yesterday that I needed her to not grow up and get big but instead stay small and live with me forever. She refused to not grow up but she did agree to live with me forever, so at least there is that.

4 a { 08.22.13 at 9:44 am }

We do enjoy the silence around our house, so back to school time has a good side. Meanwhile, I am usually fraught with anxiety about my daughter’s friendships, volunteering (I don’t have a lot of time for that), what (if anything) she’s going to learn, and the like. Mixed blessing, I guess.

I’m sort of teary-eyed this morning, because my 1st born nephew, who was born just after I started working at my current job, is headed off to college this morning. How did that sweet boy grow into the sarcastic, wonderful annoyance that he is today?

5 Christina { 08.22.13 at 9:55 am }

I have mixed feelings about the kids going back to school, too. Especially my boys who are starting kindergarden on Monday. My biggest worry is that they won’t adapt to the change very well, and I know that will badly reflect on me.

6 Aerotropolitan Comitissa { 08.22.13 at 10:02 am }

I am reliably informed (by the young master) that he is going to grow into a young adult and then just stop there forever. Suits me. I’m glad we had our little chat.

7 Aerotropolitan Comitissa { 08.22.13 at 10:03 am }

Although actually I’m not always sure young adult is a good option from my point of view… I may have to rethink that one…

8 Brianna { 08.22.13 at 11:36 am }

Our rainbow’s birthday is in August. He just turned 3. I know what you’re talking about…you’re just farther ahead on the road than me.

9 Shelby { 08.22.13 at 11:59 am }

I think the change of the seasons is always a reminder of how finite life is. The passage of time is so achingly bittersweet for me–progress, growth and movement forward, but leaving so much behind. Yeah, maybe it’s a little depressing to think in that way, but it is reality, for me at least. That’s what the change of seasons does for me, but especially going into Autumn. So, I’m right there with you.

10 kirida { 08.22.13 at 12:16 pm }

I’m getting the end of summer blues, only because it’s been such a glorious Seattle summer and this summer I really made an effort to take my kids outside (lakes! camps! parks!). And now I’ll have to get them outside with many many layers on.

11 Tiara { 08.22.13 at 12:54 pm }

Oh yes, I understand this so very well…sending hugs

12 Turia { 08.22.13 at 1:15 pm }

I always used to love, absolutely love, September and going back to school, but this year E. is starting nursery school, and I am dreading the end of August. Hugs. Does it get any easier with each year?

13 JustHeather { 08.22.13 at 1:20 pm }

While it isn’t (back) to school for us yet, it is back to work for me in a week and my little guy started daycare this week! I totally understand how you are feeling. Now that we have this week under our belt, I’m feeling a bit easier about my little guy being away from me for so much, but I’m still not 100% ok with the situation yet.

14 jjiraffe { 08.22.13 at 4:38 pm }

You know I feel you on this, big time. Major hugs, lady. The house is oh so quiet today and I am sad, too. 🙁

15 Lori Lavender Luz { 08.22.13 at 4:44 pm }

I wish I were in a position to come help fill the stillness.

Abiding with you, my friend.

16 Marcia Reich { 08.22.13 at 5:56 pm }

I felt the pangs! My children are pretty much grown now but every coming and going still makes my heart ache. There was a moment when my son now applying to medical school might have returned home to live for a year. I had a mix of feelings about it—ranging form YAY to OMG. And then he took a job for the next year down in DC and alas he won’t be living at home. And the ache surfaced. I knew in that moment when he told me had accepted the job offer that he was never coming home to live again and…I sobbed for an hour. It’s amazing how we love the freedom that comes with their growing up and ache with the loss of them at the same time. I hope the quiet also feels good when it arrives.

17 Delenn { 08.22.13 at 10:54 pm }

I was actually talking to my brother the other day about how I think I may need to go to therapy or get meds for how depressed I feel at the end of summer nowadays (seriously–it has gotten so bad the last few years–I wonder sometimes if I have seasonal depression). But, reading your post and a few others out there–I realize that more likely I am having what every mom has during this time. The bittersweetness of being a mother–it is never so obvious that you are letting them grow and leave you than back to school time!

(This year–I really think I need a virtual drink! M is going to High School! and W is going to kindergarten!)

Wish I lived closer–I would visit you! 🙂

18 Battynurse { 08.23.13 at 12:50 am }

Hugs to you.

19 Mina { 08.23.13 at 5:35 am }

I have always loved autumn. My birthday is in autumn, I am an only child and a nerd, so going back to school was always a pleasure. Plus there is something about the cool mornings and evenings, and the still warm middays, the colours of autumn, the grapes and mums, that just make me very happy about autumn.

But I very well understand the not wanting the children to grow up, while at the same time willing them to grow up. It seems like yesterday that I came here to whinge about the SCH, and now George is graduating from nursery to kindergarten. And his place in the nursery is taken over by his little brother! One eye cries, while the other laughs.

How about we meet in September for a lushary? Wouldn’t that be nice, to have a drink and complain about how the children grow too fast? When all we want is for them to be this delightfully mischeviously little for ever?

20 Catwoman73 { 08.23.13 at 8:36 am }

My daughter starts school this fall, and while I am looking forward to it in many ways (time to go to yoga, and even do household chores), I am really afraid of how I’m going to feel those first few days after I drop her off, and then have to go home to a quiet house. I’m pretty sure I’ll feel a bit lost at first. I’m trying to combat those feelings by making lots of plans- long runs, de-cluttering the toy room, dusting (which I almost never have time for), scrubbing bathrooms… but it’s still really scary. So I can certainly sympathize…

21 Blanche { 08.23.13 at 8:56 pm }

I’ve always liked the coming of fall, but this year it’s been too cool too early and it feels like I’ve been denied part of summer (even though if it were a normal summer I’d be complaining about the heat & humidity instead).

LO is in year round preschool on M/W/F mornings and it was just confirmed this morning that she will be moving up to the next class when we all return from vacation after Labor Day. This will be the third class since she started last October and it just feels like, even though many days with her at 3 are extraordinarily long, time is moving too fast.

Now if someone could just share a bit of motivation, there are so many things I should do instead of what I have been doing during those hours.

22 luna { 08.24.13 at 2:19 am }

sending lots of love for the back to school blues.
I’m already thinking a year from now J will start kindergarten!

(c) 2006 Melissa S. Ford
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