First day of school! Summer is over!1

The girls and I closed out the summer with a pretty fun day yesterday. I took them to a wall climbing place. We got there right after they opened and they had the walls to themselves for about 45 minutes. There was a combination of both automatic belays and ropes that I had to belay2 for them, so I could get two girls started on the auto lines and then help a third on a standard line. They had a great time, for the most part. L especially was right up the walls and touching the top, 25-30 feet up on all but the trickiest paths. C did pretty well, too. M struggled a bit, but she’s also at the point of self-awareness where she gets that and isn’t bothered too much by it. She still had fun when she was climbing and swung around on the auto-belayed lines and made her own fun.

S had meetings last night, so the girls and I hit a new chicken spot we’ve been meaning to get to for months for our final dinner of summer break. I think they sensed the moment, and were actually pretty nice to each other most of the day. And appreciative of all the stuff we got to do, big and small, over the past 10 weeks. I asked what their favorite thing we did all summer was. Both M and L said going to the Royals game in Kansas City. C said sleeping late. I asked her to pick from the things we did out of the house and she said, “Nope, it’s still sleeping late!”

I give this summer a B/B+. We had weeks where we crammed a lot of activities into, and other weeks where we just sat around all day arguing with each other. I don’t think that’s terribly unusual for families that have a parent home all day. But I still think I let them get away with being lazy too much. And it felt like our summer was really front-loaded. We did a ton of cool stuff the first few weeks of June, then petered out pretty quickly. We made a big list of things we wanted to do and there are still a lot of entries that have not been checked off. We can use those for fall weekend activities, of course. But a few were best done in the summer months so may have to be held until 2018. A few recent summers, when we reached the ends, I looked back and thought, “Damn, that was a great summer!” This year didn’t quite hit great levels, but wasn’t terrible either, for sure.

Although they complain about going back to school, all three girls had their book bags completely packed up with all their supplies several days ago. All three made their lunches yesterday. C got up a little after 6:00 today and was downstairs, dressed, eating, and giggling when I came down at 6:35. M’s light was already on.3 I only had to wake L, who was a little grumpy at first but looking excited by the time we headed out.

Drop off was uneventful. They’ve all had multiple kickball practices, so have seen most of their friends already. They still seemed excited to get into their classrooms, see who they’re sitting around, and finally get at their new supplies. I got everyone settled into their rooms and headed over to the welcome back coffee in the cafeteria. In the past, I’d pop in, grab a bagel, say hello to a few people, and then duck out. Between having been at St. P’s for eight years now, having three kids in school, and being involved in athletics, I now make the rounds a little bit. Kind of proud to say that I was the last dad left, as moms from kickball kept coming over to say hello. I’ve finally made my mark!

On my way home I grabbed some Chik-fil-A breakfast to eat while editing the pics from our Back to School photo shoot. I cranked up some White Stripes to dangerously loud levels and am enjoying a morning to myself in the (otherwise) quiet home. We’re about to have our guest bathroom remodeled and a load of tile is being delivered shortly. I have a long list of things to do that I’ve been putting off for weeks, notably getting a haircut which I haven’t done since late May. But today is going to be a chill day before I jump into house cleaning and running errands tomorrow.

  1. Academic summer, of course. We still have traditional summer and astronomical summer to wrap up. 
  2. Yes, I couldn’t use the word ‘belay’ correctly in a sentence before yesterday. 
  3. She’s taking longer to do her hair now, so I told her she had to start setting her alarm and getting up on her own if she needs 30-45 minutes to get ready.