Friday, August 15, 2014

What's Making Me Happy: August 15

It's been ages since I've done a WMMH. It's probably not a coincidence that I am picking the habit back up now that the kids are back to school, although I don't feel like they kept me that busy over the summer. My daughter was working (science internship + hostessing at a Thai restaurant), my son was pretty happy exterminating zombies on his XBox. Although we did hike and go see movies and eat sushi and watch a lot of World Cup soccer. Whatever the reason I evaporated for the summer, my summer is now officially over. Which, in a way, is part of what's making me happy. While this past summer was probably the best I've had since my kids started school, the lack of structure in the summer, combined with the terrible heat that makes outdoor activities unpleasant, has always been a little stressful for me. Back-to-school time comes as a bittersweet relief. Frankly, this is true for my kids as well. Come August, they are ready for more structure and a return to seeing their friends every day.

This year marks a big milestone: two last First Days of School. My daughter is a senior in high school so Wednesday was her final first-day of secondary education. We are both tremendously grateful and happy that she has dropped the extracurricular activities that were sucking up all her time and making her miserable, and she is able to focus on academics and college applications. (While still carving out time for her beloved aerial silks hobby.) Some day I am going to write a blog post about extracurricular high-school activities and how they could be so right yet are often so toxic. Anyway. Done. In the past. Yay!

My son also had a last first-day: it's his last year of middle school. As he says goodbye to 8th grade he'll also be saying goodbye to this school district. He'll be attending high school in a different city—we will be moving at the end of this school year. Somehow he, like his sister, has become a hyper-organized person who follows directions assiduously and does his homework immediately upon coming home. My husband and I are baffled: we certainly were not like this. I don't remember going to great lengths to instill such habits when my kids were young. Maybe schools are better at teaching them good organization? Whatever: I'll take it. As he gets all his school supplies lined up (his backpack weighs nearly as much as he does) and hands me papers to sign, he tells me about the girls interested in him, the girls he is interested in, and whether there might finally be some overlap. This is the 13-year-old version of multitasking.

Finally, this week we returned from a trip to check out a university my daughter's interested in. Since we have friends nearby, we turned the expedition into a vacation. While the kids and my husband splashed in the pool, my friend and I dangled our legs in the water and sipped our wine. Come dusk the bats would flit by and take nips of water. We cooked our meals together and the teenagers decided to do a baking project a day. We watched all the Lonely Island videos and got inappropriate choruses stuck in our heads. We played capture the flag in the twilit backyard. Mostly we just had time together. My family, her family, all of us talking-laughing-talking. It went too fast.

That's enough for now—have a happy weekend, everyone!


  1. Humming with pleasant. Very nice, Steph.

  2. Sounds like life is treating you well. Summer's slipping away on us. I head back to the mines on Wednesday.

  3. Ah, the kids are growing up. Enjoy it while you can, 'cause tomorrow they'll be out of the house for good.


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