Where Did My Summer Go?



When summer ends, I have a heavy heart.  My melancholy is due to all the typical reasons:  I can’t believe another season has passed, I didn’t accomplish all that I wanted to, the kids are growing up,  and I’ll miss the warm weather and the children when autumn arrives.  In recent years, a new and unpleasant feeling has appeared on my emotional radar.  At the end of the summer I also feel robbed.  We’re all tired of hearing the clichés, but how in the hell did it go by so fast?  Seriously.  There is no other period on the calendar that flies by with such velocity.  I realize that the age thing plays a big part – summers are much faster than when I was a kid.  I also have to take some responsibility for the fast pace of our summers.   On the last day of school my children step off the school bus and are immediately expected to board Momma’s crazy train as it goes off the rails in an attempt to make sure each sun-soaked hour is filled with fun, fun, fun!


As some of you know, I’ve RWMLogonicknamed myself Road Warrior Momma and I’m on a personal quest to travel to each state in the contiguous United States, by car, by the time my oldest child leaves for college.  That means I have five summers and twelve states left to go.  Why do I have such wanderlust?  Well, it’s a long story that started with a little bit of curiosity about family history and evolved into “our thing.”

I am not complaining.  We’ve had a lot of fun, but our road trips sure do take over the summer.  And it can be a bit exhausting.  There ain’t a lot of lying around in a hammock, reading a book, while the children gallivant through the lawn sprinklers.  That’s how I used to spend my summers and they seemed to drag on forever.

10543624_10204463916223036_7325399647955613428_n[1]The problem with such wild adventures is that everything else pales in comparison.  Each year, after we come home, unpack the car and do laundry for days, I start to hear the tribal call of “I’m bored.”  Then I panic, and pull out the map and contemplate where we can go for a “quick, little mini- road trip.”  This year we ended up taking off for Michigan, to see family, and to Hilton Head, to experience the beach one last time.  We had fun.  It was fantastic seeing our Michigan family. We also had a number of house guests this summer, which I LOVE.  Even though it’s wonderful to see everyone, it’s not without a price.  Cue the frantic house cleaning, bed-stripping and grocery shopping.  Throw in a family birthday party for my youngest, and before you know it, we’re printing out the back-to-school supply list.  To add insult to injury, it’s July, ninety-something degrees outside and not a leaf to be found on the ground.


Michigan cousins.


Visit from Auntie Shell.


Celebrating Granddad’s birthday!


Summer fun in Hilton Head!


This leads me to the primary reason I feel robbed at the “end” of each summer –  our summer ended on August 7th.  Yes, we got to enjoy one week of August before the kids started school.  I realize this has been the case since my oldest began school, and that I graduated twenty-something years ago, but it will never feel normal to have my children go to school in August!  Traditionally, summer ends on Labor Day (well, technically September 21st, but that doesn’t work for my essay).  When I was growing up on Cape Cod, we went back to school after Labor Day!  Labor Day should not be listed on the school calendar as a “student holiday.”  It shouldn’t even be addressed – because it is a summer holiday!


I know some of you are asking if we get out of school earlier than June.  Yes we do – but that’s beside the point.  We get out the Friday before Memorial Day.  Now I ask you, does that make sense?  It doesn’t to me.  The Memorial Day weekend was always the last three-day weekend in the school year, a signal that summer was coming, not that it was here.  Now, those once relaxing, barbeque-filled days are booked with graduation parties – or it marks a mass exodus of families from the city of Atlanta.  Don’t try getting anywhere on that Friday.

I’m also bitter about this end of summer thing because the blogging world has reinforced my feelings of loss.  Many of my blogger friends spent the last month writing about and posting pictures of their families enjoying the “last days” of summer and spending them frolicking on the beach.   In August.  And I felt left out.   Meanwhile, I’m filling out PTA forms, issuing homework commands, and navigating the monotonous and multiple stops on the Smith Family’s extracurricular activity tour.  The crazy train has returned the station, exit left, to dullsville.

Robbed, I tell you!

How do you feel at the end of each summer?  When does your school year end?  When does it begin?



This has been a Finish the Sentence Friday post (a prompt-based writing exercise for bloggers to finish the sentence prompt and link up with those who also finished the sentence below). Today’s sentence was “At the end of each summer, I always feel…”

Your hosts:

Kristi, from Finding Ninee

Stephanie, from Mommy, For Real

Tonight’s guest host: Kerri from Undiagnosed, but Okay.

26 thoughts on “Where Did My Summer Go?”

  1. You’ve been totally robbed. School before Labor Day? Maybe it’s a New England thing but here on the Cape we take our beginning and ending of summer seriously. We wave from the bridge, we jump from the boardwalk and we enjoy that last day of summer when the tourists have gone home. I don’t know how you did school and homework in August. It’s really unAmerican :)

    1. I didn’t realize you lived on the cape? Where? I grew up in Harwich.

      I’m still working on my challenge. I’ve written two drafts and thrown them both out. I promise it’s coming.

  2. I won’t tell you that we just went back on Wednesday, but got to admit when you all are getting out at the end of May and we still have almost a month to go, I am totally jealous, but still now that we did have to go back to school this week, I totally missed the summer here, too and hope that this winter isn;t too cold or brutal and goes quickly, so we can indeed get back to another summer!

  3. You HAVE been robbed. Tucker just started school on Tuesday, like it’s supposed to be! He didn’t get out until June 25 or something though – so I was feeling robbed back then. It really does seem to me that you had an amazing summer though Allie. I love your roadtrips and that you drive the crazy train. Your kids will cherish those memories forever and ever.

    1. I know, I want my cake and eat it too! I want vacation form Memorial Day to Labor Day – is that too much to ask? Thanks for following us (virtually) on the road and meeting up with us:). Perks of life on the road, time spent with friends.

  4. Oh, I totally hear you… we go back to school August 18th, and I just don’t feel ready! Of course, I love the return to structure, but I do feel bewildered and cheated a little when summer ends- it just started!!! And I’m with you on the road trips- fun, memorable, but So. Draining.

    1. Sometimes I compare the road trips to child birth. When people ask me if we’re doing it again next summer, I’m hesitant in the months immediately following. But the further out I get, and forget he pain, I’m ready to start planning the next one.

  5. Yes, you were robbed. I’d rather go to school most of June than most of August. Your kids have been in school for a month already! Mine just finished their second week, and they are ready for a vacation already.

  6. August 7 for back-to-school? That’s just crazy! August is the best for vacation: warm but not crazy humid, relaxed enough from being on vacay in June and July. It’s great. Loved the idea of the family road trip. I have great respect for your children; putting my kids in a car for several hours and things would get ugly in the end. Best of luck getting to see all 48 states!

  7. No. Wrong. Bad. The Tuesday after Labor Day is the earliest possible start day for the school year, with the Wednesday or Thursday also being acceptable (but not Friday, because that would be dumb). And I don’t know about where you live, but here in Oregon, June is hit-or-miss in terms of weather, while August is just about guaranteed to be lovely. Running late in June is okay if it means you get all of August. As a teacher, I am already bitterly resentful that I have to go back to school the last week of August so the kids can start the first week in September. I can’t imagine what I’d do if I had to give up any more of the best month.

    Your road trips/house guests sound wonderful. We did pretty much zilch all summer, for various reasons, but I hope to get some more excitement going in future years.

    1. August is probably the HOTTEST month of the year, here in Atlanta. It makes me crazy that they are in school (because I’d like to escape to anywhere!). I know, the poor teachers here had to be back on the 1st!

      Living in Oregon – you are surrounded by road trip paradise:)!!!!!! I keep going back and forth on how to travel the PNW – drive out there or fly and rent a car? But how to get all our supplies? Decisions, decisions…

  8. Oh, I get that. School is August is just rotten. It’s way too hot at recess, and it’s just plain wrong. And our school doesn’t even start until the 25th. The school year doesn’t feel real until after Labor Day.

  9. School just started for us on Friday. A full month later! I’d feel robbed too!
    Either way, I do. Summers used to drag on. Now they don’t. It wasn’t even having one kid that did it to me – it was the birth of the second and knowing how fast time went with the first!

  10. I’m sorry but you can’t be serious. Your kids were back in school in early August? That’s unheard of! I’m with you. School should go back in after Labour Day (yep extra “u”not a typo – I’m Canadian). Now here’s a concept for you. Move here. In my province (BC) the teachers are on strike and no one started school last week. Looks like this week is a bust as well. Some are talking about no school until October …

  11. Call me a traditionalist – school should end in early June, after Memorial Day, and start right after Labor Day. It used to be like that around here always. I didn’t even know people did it other ways until I was an adult! (Yes, I do live under a rock, as a matter of fact…)
    Our winter here was awful to say the least and so the school where I teach (OOPS – USED to teach) extended the year by an entire week, much to everyone’s chagrin (mostly the teachers). And in an effort to accommodate for said winters, the teachers went back on August 21st this year – ridiculous! – and the kids were back by the 26th. It is all kinds of wrong to me. But I’m not there anymore, so too bad for them!
    Kidzilla’s school managed to not extend their year in June, so she ended right on schedule. And her school still starts after Labor Day. I love that!
    What happened to just rolling with the natural order of things???

    1. I don’t know! WE missed a week and half last winter, due to snow (Atlanta – no snow plows), and they took away one day that was built into the calendar for such occasions. As a mom who had plans for travel as soon as school got out, I was grateful…but still, the kids lost over a week of instruction that wasn’t made up? It doesn’t make since to me. My cousin is a school teacher in Michigan and she had to work till the very end of June!

      1. We have relatives in Atlanta – that was such a mess!
        The sad truth about the snow days and how it all gets made up or not is a complicated tale. It’s probably not a topic you want to get me started on! Let me just say that if we could figure out a way to make it all work more logically, this country’s education system would be in much better shape.,

  12. OMG! I love the tee. That is soooo awesome. I love roadtrips. Let me know if you ever make it to Nevada.

    My son also started school in early August. I loved it because he gets a week in October, 3 for winter break and 2 for spring break. It all evens out in the end. M

  13. Around here there is a LOT of year-round schooling (yes, in the public schools) which is even harder for me to get my head around. Personally our district is not year-round but a lot of my friends were posting pic of their kids’ first days in July. Bizarre, right?
    I am with you Road Warrior Mama- I like my drinks cold and my summer traditional.

    1. I have a friend in Raleigh who’s children used to attend “year-round” schooling and it was hard fro her to get used to – and there are charter schools, magnate schools and traditional schools, all with different schedules. It makes my head hurt, contemplating it!

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