So here I am, back in South Jersey after 10 days in Colorado plus a few to recalibrate. This morning marked the beginning of the end of summer vacation as Maddy started volunteering at the Franklin Institute in Philadelphia and I had to get up at 6:15 (EGADS!) to drive her to her friend's house for a ride into the city. I thought it would be horrible and torturous, but it was actually quite lovely. It's a beautiful day here--one of those rare summer days in my town when you can turn off the a/c, open the windows and enjoy the sounds of the birds (and various lawn equipment). The boys are still deep in their summer sleeping habits (enhanced by the time difference between here and CO) and I had, for I believe the first time all summer, the opportunity to sit with my coffee and granola on the porch and enjoy reading a book uninterrupted. I was even able to get a shower, do a little laundry and whip the kitchen into shape with nothing but my own thoughts to attend to. What a gift!
By the end of the school year, I (like many parents) am longing for the lack of structure and schedules that summer break brings. I've been at this parenting thing long enough to know that by week 3 I'll be missing that big yellow bus that comes to whisk the kids away (after the bickering begins and they start chanting that summer mantra, "I'm bored...I'm bored...I'm bored..."), but I'm also acutely aware of the years flying by and the fact that 2 out of 3 of my babies are already in high school and will soon be leaving the nest. What better reminder of this than onset of that exciting yet sobering activity know as The College Search? My daughter Maddy is a highly motivated young woman determined to get the best education she possibly can, so at the advice of her guidance counselor we started working college visits into our travel plans this summer. So far we've visited Cornell (love at first sight) and CU Boulder, and are planning to see Williams and Dartmouth before the year is out. All I can say is, wow! How did we get here already?!
So, I'll take my peaceful morning--I really needed it to recharge--but I will also embrace all the craziness the day brings: the chauferring, phone calls, apointments, school forms...all while trying to give my shop the attention it needs. I will embrace it because the clock is ticking and soon these amazing young people that God has shared with me will move off into the world on their own, and this will all seem like a blink of the eye.