Time’s Up

It feels like time’s up. The schools have begun calling and emailing me with announcements for the coming year. Howard’s departure for GenCon is mere days away. I still have things to do to prepare for the oncoming events. Summer feels over even though we’re still in the first half of August. I suppose that is the natural consequence of school starting on August 20, summer vacation ends a full month before summer weather does. There is no time left for me to take the kids on enriching outings. Or for me to do a better job of summer gardening. I must let those intentions go and move forward to supporting them in school and trying to do a better job of fall gardening.

Today I perused the calendar, very familiar activity.
Look at this week: almost gone.

Click: next week has postage printing, shipping, Howard leaving for GenCon, watching my sister’s kids for a day, and hopefully a last family outing with the kids.

Click: The week after is when the beginning of school unfolds over three days. Monday, Gleek’s orientation day. Tuesday, First day of school. Wednesday, I drive Kiki to college and leave her there. I assume that Thursday, Friday, and Saturday will be divided among reactions to the previous and preparations for Worldcon.

Click: The week of WorldCon. Quiet at home.

Click: Return from Worldcon followed immediately by Salt Lake City Comic Con.

Most of my calendar perusals have stopped there. Surely that is enough. I can’t be expected to think of anything beyond all of that. Yet today I clicked onward and the weeks that follow are …empty. No events, just regularly scheduled days all the way into October. I am not so foolish as to think that emptiness is actually empty. We will be busy, but for the moment the illusion of being less busy is nice.

I really thought my kids would have meltdowns before the beginning of school. I braced for it. Then I was the one who had a big emotional reaction to the beginning of August, because it feels like we’re running out of time on this summer.

Back in June when I looked ahead across the hot months, I pondered what I should do for my family during that time. What should we set our minds to accomplish? An answer came to me clearly: Rest. So we rested instead of pushing. The kids played nearly endless hours of their favorite video games. The ones who love to read, spent time with books. The ones for whom reading is a chore touched none. No math was practiced, no skills worked on. Howard and I focused mostly on the work that we had to do. It was nice to let some of the things go. I don’t regret it. I only have the vaguest sort of guilt that perhaps we should have done something else. Instead we rested. I can only hope that we rested enough, because whatever comes next is coming in about a week.