I find myself looking at the calendar these days with only one eye open. I know that ominous day is lurking right around the corner...but I'm trying desperately not to think of it. And yet everything around me is forcing me into the reality of it. School starts in less than 2 weeks! Just last week I broke down and took the kids shopping for "necessary" supplies as indicated by the back-to-school newletter we received. (I mean really...most of my kids still wipe their noses on their sleeve, so who's using the 12 boxes of tissues I'm required to send in?!)
School shoes have been purchased...new tennies for all. (And NO they may not be removed from the box until the first day of school!) Drawers have been stocked with new underwear and socks.
Most importantly, in my usual panic mode, I find myself trying to squeeze as much spontaneous, unscheduled fun into our days as possible before our carefree summer days are gone. Over the past few weeks ( now that baseball/softball/teeball/swim teams/and County fair projects are behind us) we've picniced at area parks again, gone adventuring through the rivers/creeks at Tawawa park in Sidney (where we caught and released Crawdads, Blue Gill, tiny "minnows" and various water bugs...all in a peanut butter jar!). We made our first visit to the Air Force Museum in Dayton yesterday, which we absolutely LOVED! We ventured back to the Lake Loramie State Park beach for some sand and water play, despite the 90+ heat/humidity. All in the name of summer fun.
Each year the first school day comes with a greater feeling of dread for me. Possibly in part due to the fact that I'm realizing that as the kids grow, they're pulled into more activities and responsiblities. Their youth seems too fleeting as it is. I realized early this summer, that teaching our kids to say no to some activities and "yes" to their commitment to being part of the family team is as valuable a lesson as can be learned from any extracurricular they may wish to sign up for. And yet, as I dread their return to school, I also remember the relaxing feeling I get from that quieter cup of coffee as the house empties out a bit. This year Charlie is heading off to morning preschool just a few days a week, leaving just 3 young ones at home with me...at least for a couple more months. It seems as though our schedule at home will also be changed by the fact that John will be switching to day shift (for the first time in almost 22 years), and I will be leaving the regular (one or two day per week) schedule of my nursing job to be home in his absence. Lots of changes on the horizon.
I find peace knowing God's hand is guiding them all. I am ever grateful for his Providence as we accept and embrace each changing day/season.