Well, here it is – the end of the summer. And tomorrow starts the first day of high school for my daughter. High school. She’s understandably nervous. We’re nervous, too. She has a lot to look forward to, though. She’s going to an almost brand new school that is the crown gem of the area. She auditioned and made it into a high level orchestra program as a freshman. She’s taking a lot of advanced classes and is interested in a number of clubs – including the ukulele club. Outside of school she is starting her second year with the Bay Youth String Orchestra and is going to continue her volunteering at a local animal shelter.
But today is the last day of her pre high school life. Things start really moving fast now.
We tried to really make this summer count knowing all the changes that were coming. We are all still holding on to a lot of the routines and activities and childlike fun from when our daughter was younger. At least as much as she is still interested in. The coming months and years she will change a lot and will lose interest in such things, so we packed in whatever we could. We were going over last night all that we did this summer to see how we did and it was a mixture of – wow, that was this summer? that seems like a long time ago – to – that was fun! – to – I can’t believe we did that. So I guess it was a success. Most summers we pack in a lot of travel, which is fun, but makes the summer go by in a blink of planning and airports and hotels and rushing around. You get a few weeks off and – travel – another few weeks and – a bunch of visitors – another few weeks – travel again – then back to school. This year we wanted to slow things down and spend time together. Even our big trip of the summer was just hanging out together at our family house on the Jersey Shore – going on rides and eating pizza. At home we had a lot of movie nights, a few concerts, a summer family book club, a Stranger Things marathon, day trips, beach outings, mini golf, the olympics, our crazy lightning strike and expensive aftermath, sleepovers, and a brush with a tropical storm. Even with the start of high school there is a lot more fun coming up this fall and beyond. Next weekend we are heading out of town to go see Adele in concert in Philadelphia. We have ODU football games all fall, our halloween themed trip to Disney World in October, and halloween in general with all the haunted houses and ghost walks and Busch Gardens on our area. There are also wine festivals and art festivals and beer festivals and the holiday season – and way down the line – our trip to New Orleans next Spring Break. So lots to look forward to.
But so much changes tomorrow. A different schedule and routine. Back to homework and practicing multiple songs for multiple orchestras and all the lessons. Back to weekly trips to Norfolk for Bay Youth rehearsals. Back to going to bed earlier and being so busy and rushing around all the time. Will there be new friends this year? Boys? New parents to deal with? One thing that will be easier is no volleyball this fall, but that is a big change too. There has been volleyball for half the kid’s life. So here come the changes. But first – we are going out for ice cream tonight…