It's here: the heartaching end of summer. Every year, I can hardly stand it.
It helps a bit to know that I've always got writer/mama Catherine Newman on my side in this annual grief. Come August I always know she's no doubt writing something about how awful it is, how weepy we feel to see summer fade and our kids grow yet farther up, out, and away. It helps to know you're not the only mom to feel this way at this time of year. (Of course I already know it; my bestie and I suffer yearly in it together, and I know plenty of other moms do as well.)
This year I did laugh out loud, though--that sharp laugh of recognition and bonding over something trying--when I read one of the comments from a like-minded mama on Catherine's blog in response to her latest post, about being sad at summer's end. The commenter wrote,
"This morning my husband said that for 15 years he's been trying to help me feel more hopeful and joyous about the summer/fall/school transition (even from before my kid was born when I was a teacher), and I've finally managed to pull him down to my glum ways."
--and, I did, I laughed. My glum ways! Love it. Say it like you mean it, you know?
Having said all that, starting a new full-time job--especially one at my daughters' school--is definitely tamping down the usual sadness. For one thing, my brain is preoccupied; and for another, I'm going to be near my kids all day, every day. These two factors make it hard to be too terribly sad about summer's end, and for that I'm profoundly grateful.
Don't get me wrong--I still felt an actual pang in my heart today when we left the pool for the last time, and I can't think about it too much.
Friday: our last weekday at the pool.
But that's just it: there's no room to think about it too much anyway, because I'm starting a full-time job IN JUST ONE MORE DAY.
Today at the pool my BFF and I discussed my goodbye to stay-at-home motherhood and entry into full-time working-mom status in great depth, and amused ourselves by mishearing "MEA"--which stands for "Minnesota Education Association" and is regional shorthand for the long weekend in October during which teachers attend a professional conference and everyone else (including staff like me) gets a break from school--as "May" (i.e., the end of the school year). As in, "Someone told me to just accept that I'm going to be really, really tired until MEA." "You're going to be tired until May? Good God." And, "We've got to get all our talking in RIGHT NOW, because after this there won't be any talking until MEA." "Ha ha ha ha, yeah, you're probably right, we probably won't have any time to talk until May!!!" "No, I said MEA! M...E...A!!"
This cracked us up endlessly, and actually drove away her husband, who was sitting by us but decided to go home, and no doubt made mine roll his eyes behind his book and sunglasses more than once.
But you have to laugh, you know? Because otherwise what would we do, cry with nostalgia over the past 8-1/2 years we've spent as stay-at-home moms together? Life goes on. So let's talk about something else.
Over the weekend I went out to our CSA farm to pick cherry tomatoes, green beans, and edamame.
The rows of flowers were so brilliant and bursting that I couldn't resist adding fresh flowers to my haul.
This is the giant bucket of flowers I brought home. Those colors!
The farm continues for another two months, a comforting constant in this time of transition. Friday farm-share pick-ups go on.
And just for fun and because why not, in order to end this post on a random and completely frivolous note, check out this photo of me wearing the other color of the J. Crew skinny zipper pants I ordered at a bargain price a few weeks ago, and tell me this: Does this look like "light amethyst" to you? That's what they call it at J. Crew. Hilarious. It's basically khaki-ish/gray, or some other nondescript neutral. (Actually in this photo they pretty much look white, but they're not.) J. Crew: it's not purple. (Which is good because I did not want purple pants, light or otherwise.)
(Oh, and by the way: the coffee stain did finally come out of the white version. Clorox Bleach Pen for the win!)
You guys. I'll see you on the other side of becoming a working mom. We can do it.