I never did like August.
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.
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.
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!