It was a futile fight, really. Summer was going to end, no matter what I did to try to stop it. Nevermind that I made it through almost all of my incredibly detailed to do list (every closet but one in the house is organized, so are all of the cabinets and drawers). Forget that we did more traveling in two months than we had done in two years. Summer was ending.
It was hard letting it go, knowing that I will never have another summer with just Robbie. There will never be another summer where I can devote all my energy to watching him dig a hole in the sand or learn to jump off the side of the pool with the abandon. Never another summer where he will learn to catch flashlight bugs or scooter so fast it terrifies me. There will never be another summer where he turns four, thrilled at the idea of crossing off every day until his birthday. And it makes me incredibly sad.
Don’t get me wrong; I am so excited for Alex to be born. He will be the perfect child for our family, rounding us all out. Granted, I don’t know how he will be, but I know he will be exactly what we need. But it won’t be the same, and I’m a little afraid of that. We have a really good thing going, the three of us. We have our routines and our traditions. The completely irrational side of me is terrified that it won’t be the same anymore, that it couldn’t possibly be better than it is right now.
And I’m right. It won’t be the same, ever again. In my heart I know that it will be better, that it will be possible to love a second child just as much as I love my first (after all, it worked with my second, third, and fourth cats). I see all the good things that being a big brother has brought out of Robbie and know that he will continue to grow and mature once Alex is born. But for now, I am trying to relish the days of only having one child because the start of school means everything is moving much faster, including my pregnancy.
So, it was with great dread that I went back to work on Monday. I felt cheated out of my last week of summer; with all the rain, there were no more final days soaking up the sun at the pool. Everything fell short of expectations, making me clamor with increasing desperation to make some sort of lasting summer memory. Of course, nothing measured up. It never does when you approach it that way.
Today, summer was really over. There was nothing I could do to try to stretch it out anymore. Robbie started in his new classroom and I welcomed new students into mine. But it was OK. After all, with school comes more organized family dinners, complete with time spent together cooking, and structured bedtime with a little more cuddling. So it’s not endless days making the perfect summer memories. But it is three hours of time building something stronger, and that will be enough to get me through.