So Long, Summer! — by Jamie
Technically, we’re only at the mid-way point of August, but in my eyes, it’s nearly time to say “goodbye” to summer. On Thursday, Jayda and I are flying down to Florida for a week, and the day after we return marks the start of my fall classes. Of course Jayda is still technically “on vacation” for several weeks before she starts nursery school, and we’ll still have a little time together for some end-of-summer activities when I get back from my morning classes, but to me, the start of school is a sign of summer’s end.
I love the summer, and I’m especially sad to see this one conclude, as I know this fall is going to be an especially stressful season for me. I’ll be taking three challenging classes that I’m determined to ace, as well as freelancing as much as possible; and in the midst of all of my writing and studying, I’ll be filling out grad school applications and stacks of financial aid paperwork. And, of course, as always, there are tons of mommy-responsibilities I must attend to. Hello, stress!
Of course this summer hasn’t exactly been stress-free for me. Along with slogging through my usual freelancing duties, I had to work hard for an “A” in a demanding month-long Child Development course, and also suffered through a seven-week GRE-test-prep class. And throughout it all, I had Jayda home with me four days a week. I love my daughter dearly, but I wasn’t meant to be a stay-at-home mom. For better or worse, my daughter is as social as I am, and she’s not content with spending a day at home. In addition, most of the time when we’re out together at a kid-friendly venue, she wants more than her mommy’s company—she wants a contemporary to play with (and will relentlessly tell me so). So, in addition to being Jayda’s mom, I’ve been a busy social coordinator for my daughter this summer, too. For the most part, all of our Wednesdays, Thursdays, Saturdays, and Sundays have involved some sort of outing with friends: beach dates, pool dates, playing at friends’ houses—or having them over to join Jayda on her bouncer and run through our sprinkler, berry picking out East, afternoons spent at indoor bouncer places on days that were just too hot to be outside, and more. We’ve been very busy this summer—and both of us have spent a lot of mornings and afternoons socializing with good friends.
That said, I’ve spent a lot of quality time with Jayda this summer—and I’ve also crammed a lot of work into my evenings and the few days a week when Jayda was at school. But there’s still so much I haven’t yet accomplished: I have tons of packed boxes I still need to sort through and remove from my parents’ garage, a new play room for Jayda that I need to set up and organize, and several short trips I wanted to make to visit old friends that I won’t have time to take now that fall is quickly approaching. I had also hoped to make more money than I did from my freelance work this summer, and wanted to secure some volunteer opportunities to put on my grad school applications, but I never found the time for either. I never got to go to any movies, or read more than a couple of books. I only went into the city once—with Jayda by my side—and I never had the chance to go out to lunch with any of my stay-at-home-mom friends. Summer—like my life in general these days—flew by more quickly than I ever imagined it would. I can’t believe it’s almost over. And yet, I don’t know how I could have crammed anything more into it than I did.
As Jayda’s last few days at school are winding down, she can’t stop talking about starting her new “big girl” school in September—as well as asking about Halloween and announcing her latest costume choice. She’s also been reminiscing about last year’s apple picking trip and asking when we can go to the orchard again. So, I guess I need to take her lead and start looking forward to the fall. I have no choice, because ready or not—it’s coming!