The temperatures still hover in the 90s every day, the pool remains open, shave ice stands dot every corner, but with the approach of school, we all bow to the end of summer.
School started for us just this past Wednesday, but already summer, true summer, seems like another life. We’re already into the drill of signing forms, setting alarm clocks, reminding kids about homework and practicing… but I’m getting ahead of myself.
Just eight days ago, we were hiking to Dog Lake with Ben and Sammie, Ruth, Zoey, John and Will. Our intention was to get up at 6:30 am and drive to the Timpanogus trailhead for the Parker Bradford Memorial Hike, but we were bone tired from the Ruby Girl retreat the day before. For the first time in years, we missed the hike. And that makes my heart hurt.
One day soon, I’ll post a report of the retreat on the Ruby Girl website. I’ll describe how beautifully the day went, our wonderful instructors and volunteers, the way every participant felt uplifted and inspired. What I won’t reveal over there, is the tremendous cost to my family and myself. I tried so hard all summer to plan the retreat while still being a good mom and wife, I’m afraid I completely lost myself. I’m exhausted. Just so tired.
Still, we did manage to hike! The six miles flew by while we relished in each other’s company. We have no whiny hikers right now— and that’s pretty amazing.
Over the weekend we had visits from so many of our favorite people (an end of summer bonus),
watched the Olympics until 11 pm every night,
and by Tuesday night we were ready to back-to-school blessings and a 9 p.m. bedtime.
Our very favorite Mormon tradition might be back-to-school blessings. Every child gets the opportunity to talk about their hopes and dreams and worries for the coming school year and Erik lays his hands on their head and gives them a blessing. It’s an opportunity for us to talk about kindness, helping each other, looking out for anyone at school who seems lost or lonely.
Everyone at our house has a big year ahead of them. As student body president Xander has a responsibility t0 befriend every student, plan events and videos and attend meetings; Gabe might still be in junior high but every two minutes someone reminds him– “As a 9th grader your grades count this year!” and Mary’s making the big jump to junior high as a seventh grader.
Yes, she’s scared. Yes, she’d probably rather homeschool another year, but I know this is the right path for her and she’s done amazingly well. Even at orientation she recognized that she could befriend kids who’d just moved into the area or were transferring schools. She may have been homeschooled the last few years, but she has the advantages of a really cute ninth grade brother, the nicest friends and living in the neighborhood. Plus, 7th period home release just to ease her transition.
These three. So lovely. So good to each other– funny and capable and smart. I wish I could freeze time. Instead, I’ll savor every day.
It’s going to be a golden year for all of us.