Summer is Gone and the Kids Too

Resignation is settling in slowly that summer is over. My children are trickling back to school, and I find myself waiving goodbye to them hoping this new school year will be problem-free. Once back in the empty house, coffee in hand, I start to go over what I took away from the freedom of summer: What did I accomplish? What did I do with all that time? The many things I waited 'til summer to do, can I tick them off my mental list of summer projects, or not? 
I had imagined language classes for the kids, along with music lessons, and preparing for college admissions. I though about starting off the school year organized; clearing out closets, desks and drawers.
I also intended to focus on my family and spending more “quality time”.
When the kids were in elementary school, camps were the thing for them to do over the summer. If they weren't attending the latest aquatic or cooking camp down at the community center, then they'd be the only ones roaming the neighborhood since all the other kids were in camp.
Once they reached their tweens, Junior Life Guards or Wake-boarding Camp were the popular scene. All their friends were in these very sought-after camps in our area. If they weren't enrolled by early May, they were out of the summer social circles!
Now they're in their teens, and for the first time an organized summer was out of the question! A job for my older teen was in store, and he really enjoyed the camaraderie with his colleagues along with the relaxing environment of the resort he was employed at. And he had enough free time for some fun too. My younger teen desired freedom; freedom from schedules, transportation, and the social pressures a teen-age girl faces these days (the drama was minimal!).
It was very rewarding to spend entire days together at home with our kids talking, walking at our near-by beach, eating, reading and sharing. All this time with the children was so precious and fleeting at the same time. We watched movies, had all three meals together, and most importantly we talked, and we talked some more, and found we still didn't talk enough! Though I had the urge to be productive, I allowed my kids to set the pace this summer, and it was a revelation getting to know them … again. 
Don't get me wrong. We also had plenty of moments when this togetherness was driving us all bananas! They'd go see friends and have sleepovers to get away from us, I'm sure. But, once they got their fix of friends they came back home willingly, and surprisingly, happy to be with us.
As I relish my new found freedom on this back-to-school week, guess what? My mental project list can rule once more; the drawers and closets are still there; the lessons and sports are also available, but my children are gone. They're back in school, and their time is not completely mine anymore.
I'm so glad we had all this uninterrupted summer-time together! image
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