Despite my laborious preparations, the back-to-school routine still jolted us out of our lazy, hazy summer mentality. From the moment my children arrived home on their first day, I knew we were going to have a tough couple of weeks.
“I can't move,” my eldest son informed me after plopping down on the couch.
“I'm starving,” my youngest son said petulantly. “We ate lunch like eight hours ago.”
Immersed in dramatic exaggerations, I looked to my only non-school age child for some optimism. Taking in the whole scene, she burst into giggles.
No help at all.
We muddled through the night, … and the next, … and the next. Each day the energy decreased and the bad attitudes increased. The summer had escaped too quickly, and nobody was ready to let it go.
And then finally, Friday arrived.
Now fully exhausted, I found myself in sweatpants and on the couch by 7 p.m. — and I wasn't alone.
“I'm so-o-o-o tired,” my son said with a wide yawn.
“I think we all are,” my husband offered.
I nodded in agreement, and then looked out the window at the beautiful summer night. The weather was still perfect, and we were too exhausted to do anything about it. A tinge of sadness set in.
The next day, we did the working parent weekend routine: lawn, laundry, cleaning and weekly preparation. Renewed after a good night's sleep, I was determined to get all the have-to's out of the way in hopes of enjoying one of the waning summer Sundays.
The next day, my efforts paid off.
“We're at the lake,” my mother said via her daily morning check-in text. “You guys should come up.”
Ordinarily, I would decline. A car trip on a Sunday? Unthinkable. There were lunches to pack, backpacks to get ready. It seemed impossible. But as the summer sun shone down on me, I quickly typed three words:
“On our way!”
And 15 minutes later — armed with swimsuits and smiles — we were on the road. We laughed and let the wind blow through our hair on the way, and then splashed in the water until afternoon hunger set in.
“Ice cream anyone?” my mother offered to her attentive audience.
“Yes!” we unanimously cried.
Afterwards, with our energy spent and our stomachs full of icy goodness, we set off on the trip back home. When we arrived, friends unexpectedly arrived and the kids played while the adults enjoyed the outdoor dusk. It was a perfect summer day.
I smiled with the realization that maybe we hadn't let go of summer just yet. And maybe that was perfectly OK.
Jill Adams is a professional writer based in Fort Wayne. This column is the personal opinion of the writer and does not necessarily reflect the views or opinion of The News-Sentinel. Jill Adams blogs at http://lifewithoutbumperpads.blogspot.com.