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It’s the End of the School Year As We Know It

And I feel fine..ish.

I do. This week. It always hits in some dark and sinister and curious way. I’ll never wrap my head around the fact that my favorite time of year is also my least favorite, and that my least favorite time of year (winter, spring-winter, winter-spring, gloom) is always somehow more smooth and neatly wrapped and confined. I don’t get it. I can’t wrap my head around summer. As a kid I could, because summer vacation is amazing. As an adult I don’t really have summer vacation because my career will allow it, but my mean boss (self) will not. I can’t wrap my head around the time of year. It’s too big. It’s messy!

There are so many school and extracurricular events. There’s Field Day here, and Scarlet’s 5K there. There are piano recitals, voice lessons, talent shows, extra cute puppies, birthdays, deadlines, milestones. My kids both have their birthdays soon. My “baby” is leaving kindergarten behind. I feel his heft and weight in my arms and I remember it as so light I could twirl him. I could simply throw him in the air, and he’d laugh, and I’d feel like air – like cotton candy air. Sweet and perhaps a bit sickeningly so. It’s because it doesn’t last. It warps and melts – lightly on your tongue – and into hard lumps in the bag.

I can’t feel anything in my heart, so I feel everything everywhere else. It’s a dull ache in my head, a sharp pain in my stomach, and a swirling, lightheaded feeling in my head. No metaphors here. June and July rush at me and I try to talk and I can barely breathe. I take deep breaths before sentences. “This hurts.” “That is amazing.” “I need this.” “I want that.” I don’t.. I don’t.. know what I’m doing and where I’m going.” I sit and I write and I edit and I enter data and I code words. When do I sit and breathe and drink it in and jump and feel? Birthdays and milestones and death dates and gravestones. Why do I feel like something is being taken away from me, little by little, when in fact all the love and knowledge just grows.

I simply cannot let go easily and I simply cannot comprehend the gasping breath of a school year from start to finish. Oh, how they grow. And oh, I do too. It doesn’t feel like it. My heart pounds so loudly I swear you can hear it. I can sit still while my entire body is on fire and electric. This stuff.. it gets me. I see no way around it other than through it. There’s no over or under it. The passage of time meets smack in the middle with too many goodbyes, too many birthdays, too many anniversaries of the ones I lost that meant the most at one point. How could I have lived this long without them? How could I find so many ways to stitch it all together and keep working at this patchwork quilt of life? They grow, and I do too.

The growing pains always throw me off-guard, and remind me every day that I’m alive and walking with them.

I’d love to tell you where that came from, or even what it means, but probably you know. I’ll only ever be finding new words to describe my bafflement at transitions. We loved and lived hard this year. Summer, you can take it away next.

Here are 10 fun summer questions to answer. Feel free to borrow some!

1 – Do you consider yourself a summer person? Totally. I was born in the summer, my firstborn was born in the summer, and I met my husband in the summer. We all know I hate rain, heat, humidity, etc. but that said I would take it all over winter. Or worse – all those spring days that feel like winter. Worse than winter is sprinter!

2 – What is your favorite memory of the summer season? Of course – this day, unlike any other, when I met this guy:

And the first time I saw her face:

3 – What is your favorite flavor of ice cream? It’s a tie between cookie dough and anything with peanut butter/cups that isn’t chocolate based.

4 – What you prefer to wear in the summer season? Just fairytale dresses and sandals. Maybe throw on a jean jacket at night.

5 – Do you eat more or less in the summer season? Mostly less because I’m more active and more hot. I like that there are seasonal foods. In the winter, I’m all about popcorn and soup. In the summer, it’s ice cream and lemonade.

6 – What is your most favorite thing to do at the beach? hmm.. I do love riding waves, reading, and having picnics. I love digging in the sand doing absolutely nothing, but probably my favorite thing is to watch sunrises and sunsets.

7 – What are the things that annoys you the most at summer season? Mosquitoes and ticks! And that ticks kill moose. The humidity is not my friend. It makes me so sluggish. Why can’t weather be more steady?

8 – Do you prefer having long or short hair in the summer season? Like you have to ask!

9 – What is your ideal destination for you in summer season? Anywhere with cool nights, mountains, whales and moose.

10 – Do summers bring happiness or sadness in your life? Well. It’s both. I think I twisted it all up inside out, upside down, and in the words above. It’s milestones and gravestones. I’ve lost many relatives in summer, like my father, but I gave birth to my daughter in summer. Des was actually due in summer but came in spring. Summer is when I got to know him.

It seems that summer is always when I get to know ME.

This is me linking up, as one of my favorite things to do, with Finish The Sentence Friday. This week’s topic is “It’s the end of the school year, and..” And there’s still time to write yours. Come link up with your spin: HERE.

What would you say?

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  1. I think you totally know how I feel about summer. That said, I am seriously getting so excited for my favorite season. Plus, now that it is June 1st, we only have one more month until our Disney Summer Vacation and once again you know how much I also love Disney. But I will admit that right now with the end of the school year it is just crazy here. Today was supposed to be the girls’ school field day, but it was rescheduled to next Friday due to rain here today. So, I am reshuffling work around yet again. just glad I can with working at home. But see utter craziness to get to my favorite time of the year nonetheless!

  2. Summer is the absolute BEST for me! My favorite activity is baking like a potato on a beach while listening to waves and sipping a pina colada. Doesn’t get any better! For me, ice cream is vanilla swirl soft serve, maybe with chocolate sprinkles or hot fudge. I love to pull on my old shorts, a t-shirt and flip flops. No coats! No scarves! No hovering near my Costco heat dish! No sitting on my hands in the car to get them warm on the heated seat – yay!

  3. Yes, to Peanut Butter Cups and Cookie dough. I love chocolate, but never chocolate ice cream. I am happy to know this makes sense to someone else. Summer was always my favorite season, but I have done a complete turnaround on it over the last few years (hot flashes will do that to you 🙂 ) – My current obsession is ticks. They are really REALLY bad here this season.

  4. Tamara, yet another gorgeous deep and transparent post from you that hits my heart hard. I just love how honest you are and I nod right along as I read your descriptions of how you manage your anxiety and the FULLNESS of life. We are so much a like, friend. I do love that.

    The pictures are BREATH-TAKING. I especially ADORE that one of you in the blue dress… my gosh, you are just so beautiful.

    I LOVE summer. But this summer seems to be too busy already. With all the kids’ sports I am constantly going- driving-watching b ball games, soccer games, swim meets, dive meets, and spend literally spend most of my life driving my kids everywhere. Then there is caring for my mom- who recently lost her vision- this week at the doctor, we found out it will be permanent. *sob* I’m having trouble breathing through this season already…

    But we walk through it all… as best we can, one step at a time, right? And there is still so much joy. SO much joy. I often can’t feel it at the moment either… but it always comes, right? And until then, I think it, because I KNOW it’s there.

    And I can get through pretty much anything, with sunshine. 🙂

  5. I know what you man about the sadness that comes with another school year ended for the kids, but I am a HUGE fan of summer. It is my favorite season and even though I work all year, it is just the long, warm sunny days that make me full of happiness. Unless they are really hot and humid days – then I complain LOL.

  6. I’m so with you regarding celebrating and sadness being intertwined. The heft of our babies who used to be so light. I miss baby Tucker even as I am in awe of who he is now. I can’t stand the humidity and hot nights – that’s something I’m really looking forward to in Colorado (come visit!).

  7. Definitely a summer boy here! I like my hair long as it feels good when the wind blows through it.

    I’ve never liked school, though I have been very fond of some teachers I had. So other than being with them I was glad school ended. Interestingly, I am a sponge for knowledge. Wonder why I never liked school? ADD maybe?

  8. Your photos are always such a treat for the eyes Tamara! Your feelings really pour out of you here, and you make it all so much fun to read! Field Day!! One of my very fondest memories of my early youth years as a student at St. Matthew School in Edison. I was rather short and slight, and a pretty fast runner. I won quite a few races, and I wish l had kept my first place ribbons. I hope Scarlet is enjoying her voice lessons. I’m already looking forward to reading about your family’s upcoming summer adventures!

  9. When my kids were still in school, summer always threw me a bit at first. Bed times changed, the structure was gone, and I never felt that I had planned enough activities for them. But then, just like that, it was over, and school started again. This year we had a very very long winter with no spring. It’s 95 degrees here today and has been hot for weeks. I loved the post. It brought back so many feelings!

  10. Yes to cookie dough ice cream! I always have such high hopes for summer, but I’m still waiting for the season to live up to those expectations. Lol.

  11. OMG, Tamara this is so beautifully written. I always love your Friday posts, but this one really pulled at my heart strings. I recall June being a brutal month where kid’s activities and wind-ups were concerned. Then summer began with a deep breath. The feeling of freedom if only briefly. But the anniversaries of the heart are hard and unforgettable, too. I have some of those in the summer as well.

  12. I love summer, but you are right it’s messy. It’s not perfect, sometimes hard things happen, but we get to swim and eat ice cream…..

  13. These are good summer questions to answer. I had a laugh to myself and said I’m not a summer person, I’m a winter one – but a southern winter one. Except for the snow and ice our Winter is probably like your fall and fall is when I get to wear a jean jacket in the evening – definitely not the summer. BTW I cut my hair! Since you share things with me in messages, I’ll send you a before and after. #9 I could totally deal with that.

  14. I can’t believe the school year is nearly over either. I’m freaking out because Natalie is starting Middle School, and I’m trying not to panic.

  15. I totally get it – my favorite time of year also being my least favorite. I have two summer babies, and I love the relaxed freedom of no school, but it’s also a sign that another year has passed. And humidity is most definitely NOT my friend.

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