The girls are marching around the house with sweatshirts and backpacks on. They're playing "school." I guess this part of the game is "going to the bus stop." The Bean's backpack is brand new for 1st grade, and the frog backpack has been passed on to the Peanut to last her for preschool and kindergarten. You can't go to first grade with a frog backpack. First grade is the real deal.
(I really, really hope that Peanut stays good-natured about hand-me-downs. So far, so good.)
And as much as I was looking forward to it in June, when I took a deep breath, hoped for the best, and started counting the days till September 2 -- well, of course, the summer has flown by, and I'm not so eager for it to be over.
We've hung out at the pond some. We've had picnics, playgrounds and pre-ballet. We've done beach walks and bike rides and berry picking. There were art classes, family visits, and our town library's summer reading program. Cicadas, toads, and sidewalk chalk. The Barnstable County Fair. A great weekend camping in New Hampshire with friends.
I didn't get to half the things I had in mind for all our unscheduled time, but I'm glad, because the girls have made great use of it. Morning till night, they're in their own pretend worlds, role playing characters from their favorite stories and mixing them up in improbable story lines: "Let's play Laura and Mary [Little House on the Prairie] are ballerinas [Angelina Ballerina] on the Island of Sodor [Thomas the Tank Engine]!" "Let's play Fern and Avery [Charlotte's Web] ride Henry [Thomas the Tank Engine] to the grocery store [real life]!" Pure imaginative wackiness. Good stuff.
There's less than a month to go, and we'll be in California for a whole week of that. Figure in prep and recovery time, and the trip will eat up closer to two weeks. We have family coming to visit before then, and a birthday party this weekend for the Bean (rescheduled from last weekend when the Peanut was recovering from being sick), and nature classes at the Cape Cod Museum of Natural History.
So, it's all but gone -- but it's gone really well. Yes, it's been intense, and I've definitely gotten tired of repeating myself, tired of mediating and scolding and herding. But on the whole, summer's been better than I could have imagined.
Here's hoping for 27 more good days.