How is it that you define summer? Is it by the calendar, a hard and fast June 21st? Is it by the last day of school (which means that summer starts at different times all over, and even at different times for different kids in the same city)? Is it by the weather, so that summer really begins on the first hot day (which would mean summer might start in early May)? Or is it by the first day of camp?
For me, it has been a little bit of each of these, but none more so than
today, when some of my kids headed out of town for their summer
adventures. These days, my summer has become defined by a smaller
When I was out of work, the exodus came with a mixture of agony and
relief. While a quieter household allowed me to focus on my job search,
it also made the empty emptier and my purpose more unclear. Certainly, I
was looking for work, but since I was not working (translate: bringing
in money) or consumed with child activities, I found it hard sometimes
to see quite where I fit in. Yet, I was glad to know that my kids could
escape from my often somber mood, even if just for a short time. When I
have been working, it has taken me most of the summer to get used to not
racing each morning for early school buses, and used to returning each
evening to the very different home dynamic.
Few of us grownups have the real summer/rest of the year split that our
kids enjoy. But as my children "began their summer" today, I
realized that what I see as summer has begun too, a time that has looked
different to me each year. What will this summer bring? Hard to
say--except for some ridiculous heat, a bit more quiet, and perhaps a
little more sleep.
And from time to time, thoughts of having the noise and chaos and sleep deprivation return when everyone's back for the fall.