Monday, August 9, 2010

A Bittersweet End

I know, I know, I was supposed to write this blog yesterday. In my defense, I spent very little time at home yesterday, and therefore did not have much computer access. I suppose I could have blogged from my iPhone, but that sounds miserable; I can barely send a text on my iPhone without being annoyed at its spelling and grammer changes, and the amount of time it takes me just to type it out! So, I am pretending that it is still Sunday for the purposes of this blog.

My birthday is next week, so I thought it would be fitting to reflect on what my birthday has always symbolized in my life.

Growing up my birthday was always a bittersweet reminder that the carefree days of summer were winding down, and school was about to return to its normal position in my life. Back home in Minnesota, August was one of my favorite months for many reasons: my birthday typically marked opening weekend of The Minnesota Renaissance Festival, was close to the start of the Minnesota State Fair, and was when Dance Team and Marching Band started back up. These were all things that I loved and looked forward to through the entire year. Once I hit high school I almost always chose to spend my birthday at the Renaissance Festival, just listening to the sounds, smelling the air, taking in all the fabulous crafts and apparel. We typically dressed up for such occassions, leaving me with a closet full of peasant clothes that are simply too hot to wear to festivals here in Texas, but that have come in handy several times in my job as a theatre teacher. I remember loving Fest whether it was hot and muggy, or cold and rainy, and thinking that it was the perfect end to my summer vacations. The State Fair was another such event. The Minnesota State Fair is different than its counterpart here in Texas. Concerts are the center of Fair festivities, with headline acts such as Garth Brooks, Reba McIntire, and Brooks & Dunn playing nightly shows. When we were younger we would spend at least one day at the fair as a family, and I distinctly remember sitting at the kitchen table when the newspaper would release the fair concert lineup with my dad and deciding which concert we would try to get tickets to for this year. When I was in high school we would go as a family, and I would usually go again with a group of friends to see a second concert as our summer wound down. I still remember the taste of Sweet Martha's Cookies, and wish I had some now.

Now the final days of August are different. Rather than beginning my end of summer preparations on my birthday, my summer ends the Monday following my birthday. I spend the summer planning to plan my school year, and realize the week before I start back that I haven't done a dang thing to get ready, and then fly into a small panic, which I quickly get over. But this year things are different. I have been so blessed to have Connor to spend my summer with me, and feel a slight tugging at my heart when I think of not having the days to spend with him like this for another school term. Now, I know that I in no way have it in me to be a stay-at-home mom, and have missed the busy schedule of the school year, but I will also go back to work this year missing the thing most dear to me. Connor has gone to daycare twice a week all summer, just to stay acclimated and used to being dropped off, and to get to play with his friends there, but we have been spending the rest of the week together. It has been a roller coaster of emotions; some good and some bad, but it has been wonderful regardless. It often left me exhausted and wondering how Lesa, his fantastic daycare provider, manages to keep up with all the children in her care when I can barely function with Connor. But, I wouldn't trade the moments for anything. Connor has changed so much over the summer, he has gone from scooting across the floor to crawling and to pulling up easily. The little buggar is fast! He now walks comfortably and rather easily in his walker, along the sides of the couch and coffeetable, and whenever anyone holds his hands. He will be walking for real before we know it. It makes me a bit sad to think that I won't be there all the time to witness his little landmarks on his journey through "babyhood". He is such an incredible blessing in my life, and I will miss our mornings just sleeping in, and his little catnaps in my arms after some playtime. But, it will make days off and holidays all the more enjoyable and precious!

It is interesting to look back and see how things have changed. Just further proof that we all grow up!


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