Soaking Up Every Last Bit of Summer …

Riding the Laguna Trolley - Photo by C. Sanchez - 2009

Riding the Trolley in Laguna Beach - Photo by C. Sanchez - 2009

We’re trying to soak up every last ray of summer before the kids go back to school after Labor Day. There are so many things to do for back-to-school: shop for shoes, shop for backpacks, stock up on underwear, inspect locks and P.E. clothes. We need to get school supplies, finalize contacts/glasses (we are a very bespeckled family), fill out a million pieces of paper for registration, write a hundred checks to the school district (how did public school get so EXPENSIVE, anyway?), and clear out our “homework centers” at home to make sure we have things like pencil sharpeners and extra paper (which we never do, come November).

And that’s not even starting the school-clothes shopping – ack. Although I keep clothes-shopping pretty basic at first – We usually start with just one new “first day of school” outfit (usually involving new jeans and new shoes). Then – being the frugal mama I am – we do the rest of the clothes shopping in October, when all the back-to-school clothes go on clearance and Southern California finally cools to a temperature we can tolerate without needing to sit in front of the fan every five seconds.

But I’m procrastinating. We’ve barely made a dent in back-to-school stuff. I think I’m basically pretending it’s not going to happen.

Instead, we spent last weekend riding the Laguna Beach trolley. We ate ice cream cones before they dripped down our wrists. We slathered on sunscreen and wore our flip-flops and donned tank-tops. Last night we brought take-out pizza to the community pool and the kids swam until the lights came on. Next week, we’re hitting up the local beach club for sandwiches and a swim until dusk. And I have to get in at least one more lunchtime walk across the street with my little guy to get food when I’m on my lunch hour and he’s home from school. ‘Cause I’ll miss that.

Ah, summertime – you came and went much too quickly.

But I’ll enjoy you until the very last possible second.

Because pencil sharpeners can wait.

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9 thoughts on “Soaking Up Every Last Bit of Summer …

  1. Ahhh Laurie, you have a way of writing….you put life into your sentences. Each paragraph is a story onto itself.

    Summer is special moment in life. But in this instance a moment is a period of time that lasts for an unspecified amount of time. And catching the last rays of summer/sun, that is so important. Mostly because it has to last for quite a while. It also carries with it lots of fun memories and images of fun with family and/or friends untarnished by the urgencies of must do events. As a child you want to have summer last forever as you spend time with your parents and sometimes have favorite pals join you. As a parent you never want the moment with your children to end. You can never recapture such a moment again. So you drag it out as much as you can.

    And as for the sun, well what more can you say except that it is essential to life itself. At least that is my thought. I need the sun to survive. I gain energy from it. I gain confidence from it. I can never get enough sun. Today I am in Hengelo, Netherlands, it is 53 degrees and rainy and windy and I feel cold. Tomorrow we drive to Frankfurt, Germany where the sun is shinning and it is in the high 70s. We’ll be home for the weekend and my mother-in-law says it is going to be hot and sunny. I seem to be the only one that is happy about that.

    Enjoy your summer with the kids, and I know the kids are enjoying it too, no matter how much they miss and want to see their friends. Capture all these moments and store them away for later. These will make up a major portion of your happy moments later in life.

    God Bless you and Chris and the kids and all my love to all of you.

  2. I too LOVE the summer. Yes some are hotter than others and let’s not talk about the ants, but summer is my time of year. I do enjoy the other seasons for all they bring us, but summer is the the time for relaxation… At least the perception of it. I, like my father, love the sun and the warmth. It makes me feel comforted and at peace. Blue skys fill me with joy.
    I enjoyed our pool night and our trolley rides and all the summer cramming we’ve been doing of late. The ice creams were fun and the art outings were amazing; it was great finally being able to share those with our kids.
    I will miss greatly the sight of our kids sleeping soundly, without a care in the world, when I leave for work in the morning. The phone calls during the day asking if they may walk up to the store. I guess I am maybe more happy for the kids because, while there are many great things to look forward to as they age, they will always remember their youthful summers as a special time.
    Thanks Laurie!

  3. Hi Laurie –

    I loved this summer. We didn’t do anything in terms of vacation, but it’s the first summer I’ve been home with my kids for quite some time and we had a lot of fun together swimming, playing and lazing around. It was a very relaxed atmosphere. There’s something about spending all that time together that really bonds you, and with teens I think it’s necessary to keep communication lines open.
    Have fun with the back-to-school shopping. Shoes, underwear and school supplies always top our list. Can’t really figure out why underwear is there, but it always is. Funny!

  4. We are in denial summer is ending, too!

    My favorite thing is to go to the beach around 4-5 p.m., and hang when the day crowds have left, and it’s still warm and beautiful. The ocean has a special glow at that time of day. I love watching my family surf and play in the ocean until the last bit of sun goes down. Or bring dinner and drinks down to the beach with friends. And a summer LB trolley ride is a tradition — one of best free traditions left!

    Boo hoo! Maybe we’ll squeeze in a couple more beach runs before the chaos begins… school, football, soccer… it’s actually all good that life is so full.

  5. Okay, so we’re all in the same boat, I see! : )

    Johnny — Wow, the Netherlands? And 53 degrees? Yes, I guess traveling as much as you do would sort of throw a curveball into your normal sense of “rhythm” with the seasons. But I’m sure you’re having a GREAT time in Netherlands/Germany etc.!!! And the sun will be waiting for you when you return! You’re so right about this: “As a child you want to have summer last forever as you spend time with your parents and sometimes have favorite pals join you.” That’s the mode we’ve been in this week for sure! Nicely put.

    Chris — Ah, yes, the ANTS!!! Well, we’ll have to forget about them. (Does every ant live in Southern California now??) But the rest, yeah, very cool — I love to see the kids sleeping all languidly, too, even past 8:30! And I know you always say summer is your favorite season. …

  6. Crystal — Yay! Another procrastinator! But I saw on Twitter that you DID end up getting the kiddos registered, so that’s good! Whew! Wipe that sweat from your brow, huh? 🙂

    Jeanne — Yes, “lounging” is bonding, isn’t it? That’s terrific that you got to spend so much time with your kids this summer. Especially the teens. You (and they) will probably always remember this summer for that reason. And you’re right about the underwear — why do I act like I can’t buy it at any other time of year?? Funny. … Socks, too. 😉

    Grace — Oh, yeah, that summer 5:00 light is soooo pretty on the ocean! You have to go look at the blog of Sheye Rosenmeyer (hope I got her name right — she’s in my blog roll). She lives in Australia, but she came to Laguna this summer, and she’s a photographer, and she went on and on about the gorgeous “Laguna light.” She couldn’t get enough of photographing it. Made me appreciate it all over again! And you made me appreciate how full our lives are — you’re right, it’s a blessing they’re so full.

  7. Summer is my favorite! Here in Washington we have so much pretty scenery and can literally go 2 hours in either direction for snow or sun….but I love it when the sun comes and stays in our area! I love sitting in the pool and looking far over to the mountains and seeing snow caps! I love coming home from work and seeing the kids already home and not worrying about dinner every night because everyone has plans with friends, work, etc! I even loved the school shopping this year because it was only for one child and I did it in two days! The new school year is always bitter-sweet, it is proof that your child is getting older, the day light is getting shorter and your routines have to get back in order! I wish we had sun all year round like California, then I would at least “feel” like summer even though we are back to business!

  8. YES! I was a little stressed about it and then I was ill because I thought they were being a little too harsh considering this is my first time at the renewal process. *rolls eyes*

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