But what a glorious summer it has been.
If I could have hand-picked every activity and rolled them all into the ideal summer, it would not have looked any different from the summer we actually had, right down to the slow mornings and long evenings.
- read lots of books
- splashed in rain-soaked streets
- watched the moon rise over Mt. Olympus
- went on morning and evening walks
- ran through the sprinklers
- grew and picked and ate garden vegetables
- put together puzzles
- ate snow cones
- went bowling
- made popsicles and ice cream
- played at the park
- loved baby Clark
- made new friends
- went to the cabin
- visited the aquarium
- set off fireworks
- went swimming
- slept in a tent
- sang around a campfire
- went to reunions
- tried our luck at fishing (no luck)
- covered the driveway with chalk art
- blew bubbles
- rested in the hammock
- rocked on the porch swing
Even if our future summers are not as lazy or unscheduled as this one, I'm glad we got to experience this kind of summer at least once so that I now know it is indeed possible.
Today was Aaron's first day of first grade, and it was significantly harder for me than his first day of kindergarten last year. This felt like the real deal.
I kept checking the time and thinking, Will this day ever be over? Will the clock ever make it to 3:45 and release me so I can go pick him up?
My mind has been going to strange places today. Like when I was driving home this morning, and I saw a teenager cross the street with his skateboard. I thought, That kid was in first grade once, and I just wanted to bawl because of it.
Then I thought of dear Mrs. Bitner with a brand-new kindergarten class and realized (somewhat resentfully) that she's probably forgotten about Aaron and most of his classmates from last year. How could she seem so fond of them and yet move on to 22 new kids without so much as a backward glance?
Later in the day, I made lunch for Max and Bradley, after which we sat down on the couch to read stories, just like we always do . . . except that Aaron wasn't there to steal one of the spots next to me. And I wondered, What gives life the right to glibly gloss over something as drastic as a missing person from our regular routine?
I've been stressing about the most ridiculous things: Should I send Aaron with lunch money? Or pay it online? Or go to the office? Will he be comfortable in those shoes? Will that waterbottle leak in his lunchbox? What time should I leave? Should I be ten minutes early? Or fifteen? Or five? Would it be too overbearing if I parked the car outside the fence and watched him during recess?
Luckily, Aaron was only excited as he got ready for the day (although he did get very quiet and somber when he got in line with the rest of his class), and when I picked him up, he came galloping out on a stick mustang (their mascot) and exclaimed, "That was the best first day of first grade ever!"