In two hours a bell will ring, releasing my kids from their last day as first and third graders.
Summer can feel simultaneously expansive (so much free time!) and claustrophobic (so much togetherness!). But instead of fretting about the inevitable messy house, bickering kids and the dastardly duo of “I’m bored” and “I’m hungry,” I’m going to surrender to the chaos and enjoy it.
We’re at the beautiful sweet spot of the kids being old enough to be really fun, but young enough to still want to play with us. I am greedily soaking all of this up before they outgrow me and move on to friends that offer a better fit.
We walked to school this morning behind a mom taking her daughter to her final day in elementary school. She got teary as they navigated the crosswalk for the last time. Later today, my friend will watch her son graduate from high school and in a few months will send him off to college 3,000 miles away. Evidence that time races by is all around me and I hope that this summer will be a chance to apply the brakes, if only for three sun-filled months.
The start of summer vacation feels a lot like New Year’s Eve – a blank slate with lots of promises of things we’re going to do. I know my “surrender to the chaos” manifesto might seem laughable as I limp into late August, completely stir crazy and wondering if bourbon would go well in my morning coffee. But for now, I am hopeful, perhaps a bit naïve, and very much looking forward to our adventures ahead.