Over the weekend, we went camping with another family (post forthcoming) and I had something of a ‘Matrix’ moment when another parent said the words “school starts back in 2 or 3 weeks, right?” You’ll have to imagine the slow-motion cinematography – time slows down, I hear something like “tttwwwooo ooorrr ttthhhrrreeeeeee wwweeeeeekkksss, rrriiiggghhhttt???” ,my head whips to the side, frame-by-frame, “WHAAAAT?”
And it dawns on me, just like it always did when I was a child experiencing my own magical summers, that summer is not eternal. As always, it must eventually come to an end and our lives will once again be filled with structure and rules, schedules and responsibilities.
And as that thought crosses my mind, another follows right behind it – I didn’t realize how close we were to the beginning of school because I too have had a magical summer. I’ve been exceptionally fortunate to be able to stay home with my children this summer. This isn’t because we make enough money for me to not have to work, but because we are willing to make certain sacrifices in order to be able to be together as a family – just to be clear. But that’s not the point, the point is this: Along with my children, I too have had a wonderful, magical summer.
Being on a semester system in a University, my school year ended about 3 weeks before the kids got out of school. I spent 3 glorious weeks alone in the house for most of the day, playing video games and indulging all of my favorite vices that have to be left behind during the school year. When the kids got out of school, they took off for Nana & BeeBop’s house for 2 weeks, and Hubbo and I sat around for the first week enjoying the silence and then went camping together for the second week. We were way overdue for some alone time.
When the kids came back home, I decided that this summer we were going exploring and over the past few weeks, we’ve explored hiking trails and swimming holes all over WNC. We’ve been hiking and swimming out at Warren Wilson College a couple of times, we’ve been to Skinny Dip Falls, this weekend we went camping at Mt. Pisgah and made another trip to Skinny Dip, when Hubbo & I went on our camping trip we explored the town of Highlands.
We’ve made new friends, we’ve become closer with old acquaintances and we’ve had a blast the entire time! There’s still 2 more camping trips that I’d really like to do this year, but I don’t know if we can possibly squeeze them in… we may have to extend our camping season this year.
Last year was a rough summer. I had a lot of depression, I felt useless quite a bit, I was pretty lost. I don’t really feel like dredging it all up again right now. But this summer, this summer has been amazing. I’ve really, truly enjoyed spending time with my kids. We’ve gotten out of the house, we’ve had adventures, we’ve experienced new things. Those old, horrid ghosts have been kept at bay. I’m healthy and I’m happy and my children are too. Life is good.
I still can’t hardly believe that the summer is almost over and school is right around the corner again! It’s time to start all of those preparations and slowly reintroduce schedules into our lives. Only Hubbo has been on a schedule this summer – I don’t believe in schedules when there isn’t anything scheduled to do, so we’ve pretty much flown by the seat of our pants all summer and it’s worked out better than expected.
So, for the next 3 weeks, I think we’ll take advantage of whatever we can manage to get into. If you want to get out of your house, there’s a good chance that you can find us down by the river. I’m going to enjoy as much as I can over the next 3 weeks, and savor every minute of it. When school starts back, our family will consist of a 7th grader, a 1st grader, and a double-majoring, college junior (that’s me). Who knows what kind of crazy, insane schedules we’ll be running.
There’s not much time left now, but there’s still a little time for swimming, sunning, hiking, family, and friends. Go get you some!