Now that school’s been back in session for a week, it truly feels like summer is no more. It was such a special and fun summer for me and the boys. Since becoming a mom, this was the first summer I’ve not been home with them. Before this year, I was either teaching or freelancing from home and in both instances, I was able to be with them during their summer vacation. I’ll admit there was some anxiety and mom guilt when I had to drop them off at camp on their first day of summer break, but as I sit here and reflect on the last two months, it was one of the best summers I’ve had in quite a while.
The camps the boys attended were outstanding. I’m very lucky to live in a town where our local recreation center offers a summer camp program that involves hiking, rafting, kayaking, fishing, swimming, paddle boarding and more. The boys looked forward to going every single day, and of course, that made me feel much better about not being home with them. And then, during the evenings and on the weekends and vacations, I was extraordinarily mindful of our time together.
This was also the first summer since their dad and I separated, but he and I worked together to make sure we were both an integral part of their summer break. They went to the beach with him and to the lake with me, etc. During the weeks and weekends when they were with their dad, I enjoyed my adult time and traveled to places that weren’t super kid-friendly, like Cabo San Lucas. And that, my friends, was an incredible trip. When the boys were with me, we went to Orlando and enjoyed family fun.
The boys and I also honored my mom on the anniversary of her passing which was hard as always. They always surprise me at how well they understand and respect my sadness and grief.
The one thing I didn’t do nearly enough of was see my sister and her family. I must remedy that for next summer. Oh, how I miss her and my brother-in-law and my sweet nieces. We have a trip planned for October, and I’m counting down the days.
As I sit on my front porch and write this post, the air is crisp and cool. Fall is certainly on the horizon. Fall is my favorite season but I’ve ignored it over the past two years. Two years ago, my mom had just died and she loved everything about this time of year. She loved pumpkins, apples, all the fairs and festivals, the leaves changing, decorating her house and going trick-or-treating with the boys. Fall always reminds me of her, so two years ago, I pretended like it wasn’t happening. I had to do that in order to function.
Then last year around this time, I was purchasing my own home and as anyone knows, buying a house and moving involves a lot of chaos and stress. Furthermore, it was the first fall outside of the family unit, so last year also felt very different.
This year I have a new take on things. A very smart girl told me recently that life isn’t about finding balance; it’s about embracing the symphony of life, both its highs and lows. So, as I say good-bye to summer and hello to fall, I feel energized and excited. My ears are perked. I’m ready to hear the music.