Monday, September 8, 2014

One More Week

     We still have a week before school begins here. Officially, I mean. Some of the older Zooligans have work they've been doing over the summer, but the full compliment of core classes, electives, and extra curriculars begins again next Wednesday.
     4H, AWANA, Soccer, practicing instruments, projects, reports, dance practice. While the oldest is doing the college thing, she's still living here with us with a schedule all her own. She'll be coming in while we're going out!
     This is the week that I create loose menus, shop for and prepare freezer meals, do one last run through of the kiddo's closets to make sure that no one can tell me they have only one pair of pants that fit, or have no idea where any of their socks are because they haven't used them all summer. We'll get those handy student planners started, get the backpacks dusted off and put fresh paper in the binders.
     One of the zooligans favorite week before rituals is our "Last Hurrah" party. We might have pizza or barbecue burgers, make a variety of forbidden snacks, and watch a movie right in the middle of the day! If it's a hot, sunny day, we may forgo the movie and take a last trip out to the river. Possibly there will be board games, and then we'll sit around the fire pit and talk about favorite summer memories and what we're most looking forward to in the new school year. We'll let all of the kiddos, even the littles, stay up way too late and sleep in one last time.
     This is how we usher out the unstructured days of summer and ring in the scheduled days of school.  When kiddos are little, time stretches on for them. 12 weeks of summer feels like half a lifetime! Summer is wonderful and glorious for the first six weeks, then it's biding time until the next thing begins. "When is school going to begin?",  is the big question for a month prior. It has felt like years to them since they last saw their friends in tumbling or art classes. This last weeks stretches on like an eternity for for the littles. A party to countdown to partway through the week is a fun, casual, exciting way to break up those thousand "How many days left?" questions.
     The maple leaves are already falling, and it's just a bit too chilly in the mornings when we leave our windows open because the evening was too warm. Autumn is ringing the doorbell, but we aren't eager to answer just yet. We need on last hurrah.

Do you have a way to mark the end of summer? How do you do it?

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