August dislike

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I never did like August.

see saw

When I was a kid, August felt sorta cruel. The hottest, ickiest part of the summer and the threshold to the return. To school, normalcy. The weeks would fly by and zoom us all closer to the end. No more waking up whenever I felt like waking up. No more walking to the neighbor’s house in the morning, the ones with the pool, nurturing a desperate hope that they’d already be wearing swimsuits and would eagerly usher us back home to get ours and then come back. A return to cold weather and sweaters and shoes, neither of which I loved as much as I loved barefeet and short sleeves.

After I left the age of summer breaks and first days of school, August became just another month, for a while. I lived summer well into it, no artificial mile marker telling me where it should stop, no urgent purchases of magic markers and folders taking away that breezy summer feeling. In fact, if it was still nice enough to sit outside in the evening in late September, we did. Why not? It’s all just life.

But now I’m back in the age of school days. Two weeks, now, till the first few half days. Three weeks until we’re back in the swing of it all.

And I’m disliking August more than I ever have before.

awakening

See, during the rest of the year, I can keep it together. I can hold up this charade that I am organized, that I know what’s going on, that I have it all together. I know when the days off fall, I generally have the field trip and picture days tucked into my brain and at least know they are coming, even if I forget for a bit in the morning. I’ve learned how to artfully skim the weekly emails from the school with the updates on this and that, eyes peeled for the little bits of info I need to plan lunches and wardrobes and pick up times for the following week. During the rest of the year, I will stumble but thanks to the momentum of the routine and the rhythm of October and November or February and March, my stumbles are barely noticeable. I always pull it together.

But not in August.

August dawns and finds me in complete denial. I refuse to admit that we’re here, this close to the end, the summer waning, the time for sparklers and ice pops and long afternoons dipping my feet into the baby pool fading into the sunset that comes earlier and earlier each night. I refuse to admit it until, well right about now, when August starts counting in double digits and I sort of have no choice. But it’s already too late. I’ve missed half of the month in this half-denial, half-keen-awareness haze where everything starts to fray at the edges because I’m trying to move through without paying attention.

little girl in pool

When I finally come to, right about now, I realize that the school forms were due August 1 and have been sitting in my inbox since early July (who thinks about printing and signing forms in July?). I realize that I’ve half set up a few playdates but never quite finalized and, of course, the dates have passed. Birthday season is approaching and though I thought I was all ahead of the game, buying favors and table cloths and making lists 3 weeks ago, now I’m falling behind. School is quite literally right around the corner and if I don’t set up our calendars now, I’ll find myself sitting in the school parking lot on Columbus day having no idea why there are no teachers there to greet us.

August is when emotions start to run high and it takes me a bit to sort through why. Two years ago, she started preschool. School. For the first time ever. And we were nervous and scared and couldn’t believe that we were dropping our little girl off and leaving her with strangers for a full, long day. And we all cried for weeks. Last year was not quite as big but this year? This year she starts Kindergarten. Kindergarten. And I kept telling myself that it wasn’t that big. She’s starting Kindergarten in the same school. She’ll be surrounded by many of the same friends she has grown to love over the past two years. But, of course, it is big. It’s very big. My baby girl starting Kindergarten is big. Of course, next year, she’ll start first grade and my baby boy will start preschool, making next August just possibly the worst August in this history of my hatred of this month.

I never did like August. And I don’t think I’ll start now.

All of this to say, I’m going to cut back here, a bit, for the next 2-3 weeks. I’ll still write and I’ll drag up some old favorites from the archives and I’ll keep Growing Together going a little bit longer. But I’ll also cut back while I sort out another ending and prepare for another beginning and look forward to the cool, rhythmic days of September.

~~~~~

As I was writing this post about disliking August, I came across this by Lindsey and that’s where I got this idea to take a little break for a bit. Maybe it will help you too!

7 Comments

  1. Oh girl, do I know it!!!! I am still in shock as I have taken my kids TO SCHOOL since last WEEK!!! What happened to AUGUST anyway? With school stuff starting early August, there is NO AUGUST summer lazy wonderful bask in the sun and shower with the pool’s chill days…

    I feel cheated.

    And my girl is now being dropped off at the devil’s playground. So there’s that.

    Yeah- I get this.

    You embrace this transition and good for you for taking some time to pull back and figure out how to marvel at the good in it too…
    Chris Carter recently posted..Summer’s Grace for MomsMy Profile

  2. No, I fall apart in September…. because I like to spend the whole month of August in denial. No sense doing things halfway, right? LOL
    I did actually buy a few school supplies when I happened to be in the store last week — but I just picked up random stuff. Didn’t even check the “official school list according to year/class.”
    No clothes bought yet. or new backpacks. do they need new? I don’t know.
    I am danger. Stay away, or I will just take you down into my summer slacker wormhole with me! LOL
    Honestly, I find it all sorts itself out by the end of September anyway, so we’re just gonna go ahead and have popsicles for lunch. :)
    Rorybore recently posted..Pondering: StandMy Profile

  3. Hi, Tricia.
    I know what you mean about August…what should be the last lazy days of summer filled with back-to-school angst. And for me it’s always been angst. My Kidzilla is going to FIRST GRADE this year and I just know this is going to be nine kinds of different from either first day of daycare or preschool or even Kindergarten. First grade is so…big kid. No more baby. Sigh.
    And in recent years I’ve had a different kind of dread for going back to my own school as a teachers – for a dozen different reasons, not the least of which is that we are now expected back by the third week of August – so different from years ago when school didn’t start until after Labor Day. I really resent that time away from my daughter while she’s still on summer break.
    But I digress…anyway…no more of that! As you saw on my blog, I won’t be going back there this year! So I’m crazy nervous and hugely excited all at the same time. This will be a whole new kind of year for all of us!
    I wish you all a smooth start to the school year, but more importantly, a lovely rest of the summer!
    Lisa @ The Meaning of Me recently posted..TToT – A Dizzying WeekMy Profile

  4. Yes! I do fall apart in August!!
    And next year I have that same preschool/first grade thing. I swear it. Should we have third babies by then? Just to hold it together or something? (mostly kidding)
    Tamara recently posted..Sometimes I Don’t Give Myself Enough Credit.My Profile

  5. Oh yes. Why does August do this to us? I do fall apart and definitely don’t feel like I have my act together at all. Forgetting forms left and right and all the back to school stuff and clinging to summer and vacation – it all just makes me want to sit and daydream and not do a single thing.
    Christine @ Love, Life, Surf recently posted..PR = Personal RecordMy Profile

  6. Thankfully I don’t – As I got older I always enjoyed school so it didn’t phase me. My anxiety was the only thing that would throw me off but after years I’ve learned to manage that. My son enjoys school and thankfully, I work, so him going to school gives me peace of mind knowing he’s learning stuff and being productive for his age. :) Enjoy your last few moments of August! Have a great one Tricia! -Iva
    AwesomelyOZ recently posted..0, 1, 1 Reasons The Fibonacci Sequence Kicks ArseMy Profile

  7. Pingback: High Five Friday: Maine - Love Life Surf

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