Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Back to School Arithmetic

20 pencils L needs for school
19 number of times I will likely have to peel C off my leg before she goes to her class without a fuss
18 minutes it takes to get to school
17 number of snow days we are praying for
16 peanut butter and jam sandwiches I will make in the first week
15 minutes we usually leave ourselves to get to school
14 number of us who will be here over the last summer weekend! Mealtime will be great fun!
13 days until C starts preschool
12 gallons of milk we'll use for breakfast in the first month of school
11 time I need to get to bed each night to make it through the busy days
10 age of my fifth grader
9 number of library books I predict A will make it through in the first two weeks
8 times I may have to shake L to wake him on the first day
7 number of glue sticks on C's list (I think the teacher must be expecting the kids to eat some!)
6 in the morning: time I'm going to have to get up starting next Tuesday
5 days until school starts for A and L
4 age I was when I started school 30 (yikes) years ago
3 times I talked to the school secretary to determine what we still owed in book fees and other miscellaneous stuff
2 number of backpacks we bought before we settled on one for L
1 number of trumpets we now own for our new fifth grader

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Sounds of Summer

We just spent a week off and we stayed home and simply enjoyed things around the house and in our community. What fun to take it easy for seven days! Our week was full, as usual, but this time our calendar was bulging with amusement parks, ice cream cones, flip flops and bathing suits, boat rides, the sandbox and the screen porch. We spent time with friends, with family, and with nobody at all! What a treat to enjoy each moment together. The days were swift but wonderfully fun.

Sunday we said goodbye to new friends (that's not fun) and hello to a new week (one that would be not nearly as fun as the last.) Time passes, whether we want it to or not. The longer days of summer are shrinking, and the cooler evenings remind me that our care-free days are numbered.

Before I let the retail world pull my beach towel right out from under me, I want to stop and smell the sunscreen for a few more weeks! I am determined to notice the things that I will so sadly miss in the middle of the long winter that is surely coming.

There is nothing like the sound of a summer breeze in the top of our tall oak trees. The gentle inhale and exhale that draws the thick green leaves one way then pushes them away again will turn to a more frantic blow whose chill will take our breath away. But for now, they whisper me to sleep on the porch swing. The high cry of the seagulls will give way to the honking Canadian geese. But for now, my senses enjoy the selfish banter of the beach birds. The rhythmic cricket conversation answered in kind by myriad toads and frogs will disappear in favor of the busy chatter of squirrels gathering their stores for winter, but for now, I applaud the cicadas for their metronomic consistency. Sticky faces that smile at me around melty chocolate and marshmallow s'mores or drippy Popsicles will be cleaned up for school, only to be slathered with peanut butter and jelly and milk mustaches. But for now, I will give them an extra bar of chocolate and let them burn as many marshmallows as their hearts desire.

Are you enjoying the simple pleasures of summer? Are there things you've been hoping to do this summer but still haven't done? Do them. Play hooky. Eat ice cream for supper (have some mint chocolate chip for me). Go to a water park and float in the lazy river. Kick off your flip flops and take a nap with your book on your lap. Invite some friends over (or come on over to our house!) to grill great burgers and potato packs and stay up too late playing Euchre or Pictionary. Go to the zoo. Make faces at the monkeys and growl at the lions. Enjoy these last weeks because they will race away on the wheels of lessons and clubs and homework and even holidays!

Happy mid-August-summer-is-still-hanging-on-don't-miss-every-firefly-moment to you!