September has long been a dreaded month for me; chilly mornings and dinner hour sunsets promising the return to school work, schedules, and responsibility. I spent so long as a student (thankyou graduate school!), and only took a few years off before plunging back into teaching, so the academic calendar has been grafted to my circadian rhythms. Summer means late nights and long naps, pajama tops and bathing suit bottoms, watermelon for breakfast and tomato sandwiches for dinner. Anything goes in the summertime where freedom reigns.
Since having kids, I have always resisted camps and organized activities during these few sacred sunny months. 'You're crazy. What will you do with them all day?!', seems to be the common question. Some parents cling to structure as a means to survive the tantrums and constant need for entertainment, and it really does make sense. But my spirit just mandates a good fight for the preservation of a season with a whole lot of nothing penciled into the calendar.
I force my children to go along with my grand plan. 'What are we doing today?', topping my list for most forbidden phrases uttered before 8am. A whole day can be built around baking muffins, watering the garden, or a walk to Trader Joe's. I refuse to rest until they realize that a celebration of the mundane is one of life's greatest luxuries.
And so this September, I stare at the maple tree outside my new bedroom, with it's brown edged leaves shedding more by the day, and I give thanks for a late labor day, and a seriously oppressive heatwave. I rejoice in a preschool that starts weeks later than the rest, and an August birthday that gives me one more year with my 'baby girl' at home. September may be breathing down my neck, but I'm squeezing every last drop of juice from this summer... something tells me it may be the last one I can execute on my own terms for years to come.