I just looked at the calendar. It’s August 25th.
Yes, I know that I have typed that into various documents already today. Worse, I have been in my own on-line calendar to confirm an appointment for tomorrow, to schedule something for later this week, and even to review dates for a couple of family things.
But only now did August 25th turn into it’s the LAST WEEK OF SUMMER.
Late August should mean that my high school kids would be two weeks into their sports tryouts. We would have gone back-to-school shopping at least once, probably at the mall, and probably meeting up with my sister and niece.
The incoming exchange students would have me rushing about, looking for soccer shoes to borrow, class suggestions and help with getting a locker. I’d be meeting with host families, doing interviews and orientations and answering questions. Our own family would be getting to know our newest daughter, picking her up from the airport and establishing new chore routines for everyone.
The college kids—my own son and various friends–would all have packed their stuff and moved back to campuses scattered about the country.
An international trade show countdown would loom large on my horizon. While August seems like a long way from October, surprisingly every year I learn that it’s a matter of only five weeks.
At this point in August, I typically feel so many emotions. I love everything about summer; I never want it to end. But at the same time, I love the return to routine, to schedules, to predictability.
I am always surprised that I can be relieved about not having to constantly monitor my children’s (excessive) screen time—and sad that I won’t have them here in the house (playing on their phones). I can simultaneously be excited about the upcoming soccer season—and feel like summer is that sand slipping through my fingers at the beach, falling away as I make desperate last grasps, only managing to hold onto just a few grains, the rest disappearing back onto the ground.
But in 2020, we don’t have sports practices and tryouts to go to. We don’t know for sure that there will be in-person school, so back-to-school shopping has been limited to about 10 new folders and a few new t-shirts. While our son has headed back to campus, others have not; there is no mass exodus. The exchange students can’t come. The trade show is cancelled.
Today, I realize that my silver lining is terribly simple. Perhaps it’s even a lesson in and of itself.
I have spent the summer with it largely just “being summer”. And that, my friends, that is a gift.