It’s a funny development when the schoolwork of the year is complete and suddenly summer has arrived. It always feels a bit odd to transition from 12 hour days with long, never-quite-completed to-do lists, to mornings that start later and leisurely-paced days with time enough to read an extra chapter of my book, sit in the sun, and otherwise embrace the luxury of time.
Transitions have always been a challenge for me and the close of school is no exception. I long for the time off but then find that all that free time leaves me at sixes and sevens. My remedy for this is to set myself up with projects and activities to help me manage the time. This year, with a son headed into his final year of high school, seems different, as if I am in a trial period for an even bigger transition to come. For one thing, the combination of a pretty rigorous summer athletic training regimen, a car to drive, and a girlfriend to visit, means that JT is often not around. I don’t miss him in the typical terms because he eventually comes home every day. It’s nice to see him when he’s here and our catch-up time at the end of the day seems especially precious. For the first time I can see clearly the transition that is coming to my world in a little more than a year.
That feels crazy. In my mind, my son is still my boy. When JT was first born, a good friend told me that the nights were long but the years were fast. This past year has certainly demonstrated the truth of that statement. As I manage the usual challenges of this year’s transition to summer, I’ve got my eye on the future. So a big part of my summer plan is to set myself up for the next transition in my world. Some days, that’s an easy and happy thought: I’m excited for JT to experience the next chapter. Other times, the prospect seems rather daunting.
This week, we are visiting a few more colleges on JT’s list. That’s a chance for me to envision him in a new place. It’s exciting and uncertain all at once. In a way, being a parent has always been that combination and I suppose this next chapter will be no different. So I’ll boldly step forward, knowing that’s the only path available, and we’ll see what comes next.