It's these last few weeks of school where I always feel like we're all on the verge of unraveling. Every day the order of our mornings growing a little more scattered as we get closer to the end. A seven day school to summer countdown evident in everything from the pathetic lunch box arrangements I send them off with, to the broken back packs slung over their shoulders, to the worn out shoes and bed times that seem somehow to keep creeping past the routine 8:30 hour formally agreed on. The easy ways of summer, already pushing for their turn.
It's this time of year too that weighs me with a special kind of sadness I remember harboring myself as a kid at the end of every year. A feeble mourning for time passed, teachers and classrooms left behind, friends made, moved, or lost. Sentiments I keep as an adult. A mother with three at the same school (a kindergartner headed next year for full day, a first grader who can read his books now all by himself, a fourth grader on the last leg of boyhood) and Hayes, who I know is in line just behind them. Sure to be tossed into the same mix sooner than I'm ever really ready for. And yet the other part of me yearns for the freedom of this next season. Same as when I was eight. Ready for the break. To wipe my hands clean of schedule. To exist in slow, mindless wonder inside of the warm weeks attached to summer. On the beach, out in the yard, down the street at the park, on the road.
My favorite time of year to rest, connect, expand and explore together.
In preparation for this weekend Mike will be pulling the old RV out from it's dirt lot storage down the freeway to see if he can fix the transmission in time for the holiday to hopefully sail that big thing down the highway and park it at the beach for a day or two. Last trip we were sure it was doomed for a tow but it made it there and back just fine so it seems it's always a little bit of faith and luck that finally drives it where it needs to be. Or at least it has. Plenty of times in the past.
Last week - in premature celebration - we met in Newport for an unplanned romp around the bay to eat dinner while the sun was out. A beach I grew up going to as a kid when we were out of school. A spot I took the boys regularly as babies, made especially convenient because of it's easy parking, close bathrooms, and now new playground with grass and a lighthouse slide crowded with birds for Hayes to chase, where I'm guessing we'll be spending plenty of our weekdays very soon. A free day's worth of adventure we greet with brown bagged lunches, wood boats to sail, and plastic buckets to fill
Seven days now and counting.