Summer Loving—by Jamie Levine

Labor Day is three weeks away. Summer has passed before me like a blur…and I can’t believe it’s almost over. When my spring classes ended in May, and I saw what lay ahead of me for the summer semester, I didn’t think it would be a big deal; however, the reality was pretty stressful. I was at school and in the speech-language clinic for 9-hour days twice a week, and spent many other hours there, taking seminars, assessing potential new clients, and doing reams of paperwork. Now that it’s over, I will say much of it was a great experience—culminating in another 4.0 grade point average—but I was incredibly busy. And it took a lot of work for me to find the time to enjoy some of my summer.

Looking back, I did have some fantastic moments with Jayda—who went to camp four days a week, but spent active three-day weekends with me. We enjoyed one beautiful beach evening out east, and a handful of sun-and-sand-filled days at various south shore beaches with different friends. We also spent several afternoons at the pool, where I had the joy of witnessing my daughter’s brand-new swimming skills in action (and the newly-acquired fearlessness that came with them, as she flew down water slides by herself and jumped into the water without asking me to catch her). We shared many fun mommy-daughter play dates (with mommies and daughters whom we both adore), an unforgettable mommy-daughter road trip to Dutch Wonderland, countless ounces of self-serve frozen yogurt treats at our favorite fro-yo spot (enjoying dessert-before-dinner on several occasions), and shared as much time as I could find to devote to my kid while I was going through summer school hell. It was the first time since Jayda was born that we went almost-24-hour stretches without seeing each other. Twice a week for five weeks, I put her on the camp bus at 8:30 a.m. and came home from class too late to see her before she went to sleep (with a few exceptions when she rebelliously forced herself to stay awake, and waited for me to show up).

At the start of the summer, I’d vowed to go out as much as I could, socially—and possibly even indulge in an overnight stay at a spa with friends. The overnight never happened, but I did enjoy an outdoor concert and danced under the stars, spent several slightly-intoxicated evenings in Freeport with good girlfriends, and even began going on regular dates with the same guy for several weeks in a row. While I’m certain he’s not “the one,” he does makes me smile, and that’s a welcome difference from the heartbreak I felt for almost the entire summer of last year. I’ve also reconnected with a handful of old friends, and even made a few new ones. So I guess instead of focusing on all of the things I wanted to do this summer that I still haven’t accomplished, I should remember all of my successes. And I do still have three weeks ahead of me (one of which will be spent on a Bermuda-bound cruise ship with Jayda), so hopefully I can soak up still more summer satisfaction.

The reality is that summer is going to end, and signal the start of fall—normally one of my favorite seasons, but now a time looming with overwhelming responsibilities that concern me: Three full days of interning as a speech-language pathologist in an elementary school, eight hours of demanding classes every Sunday, occasional freelance work, and full-time motherhood. Of course I welcome the fact that I’m one step closer to my new career—and all the possibilities it will bring—but I’m still stressed by it all. And sometimes I just wish I had more summer to hold onto…