The stores are stocked with back-to-school supplies. Aisles are filled with colourful backpacks, lined paper, pens and pencils.
Summer is officially winding down.
My older daughters are covered in mosquito bites, bumps and bruises, and skin bronzed from the sun. Their hair is a few shades blonder than it was in the spring, flecks of sand permanently stuck in their long tresses.
It was a good summer.
It wasn’t the summer I had planned. Two months ago I had a careful schedule with activities written for each day. But this summer was unscheduled and unplanned. The kids learned the bad habit of staying up well beyond their bedtime, and enjoyed lazy mornings and sleeping in.
It was the summer of rain and cool breezy evenings. Lots of park dates cancelled due to risk of thunderstorms, and days spent colouring and renting movies while eating popcorn.
We went to Muskoka twice, and Penny and Georgia enjoyed a few sleepovers at their grandparents. We went on walks and they enjoyed a few days at the splash pads and wading pools around town.
We didn’t get to do much of the items on our bucket list, instead we savoured slow days and spent time close to home. The kids enjoyed earning money by selling lemonade, and had lots of fun making new friends in our neighbourhood.
I felt like I missed out on summer myself a bit. I spent a lot of time grabbing afternoon naps to catch up on sleep, and nursed my newborn on the couch while my kids played on the back deck.
It was the summer of adjusting as a family of five, and falling in love with the newest member of our family.
It was the summer of being grateful to have each other. I’ve really enjoyed my children, and even though some days were incredibly tough, I was so thankful for these months at home with all three of my girls.
We have just one week left of summer until school starts again, and life becomes a lot more scheduled. I’m looking forward to the change of season, but still savouring these last few days.
I feel a bit of pressure to cram as much fun as I can into these last few days. I want to enjoy the sunshine, the splash pad, and go on as many adventures as time allows.
But then I’m reminded that this wasn’t the summer of doing things. It was the summer of being together, sitting on the front porch, our legs in a tangle as we husked corn. It was the summer of chalk murals on our driveway, dusty and colourful chalk staining our clothes and our fingers. It was the summer of long evening drives to lull the kids to sleep, and breakfast in front of the TV.
This summer we simply enjoyed each other. As the long days have blended together, we’ve enjoyed the most delightful and uncomplicated summer we’ve ever had.
“Summer will end soon enough, and childhood as well.” - George R.R. Martin