Mid August, Liam and I usually fall into a panic about the end of summer. We need to do all the summer things and make each precious day count. Once we get into the back to school routine, I am reminded how much I have always loved fall.
Back to School
I love the beginning of the school year. I’ve always changed up my classroom a bit and created new projects for my students. This year, I’ve added a couch and two chairs, a big framed board explaining projects and graded cognitive skills, and a light up “Hello” sign. My students love their first Socratic Seminar Project. As much as I love wearing comfy clothes each day, I love dressing up and needing to do my hair and makeup. I am also blessed with amazing colleagues who add to the excitement of transitioning back to school. I’m fortunate that I never dread starting a new school year.
Liam loves second grade, claiming it far superior to first grade. His teacher seems lovely and fosters his love of learning. I love seeing him grow and hearing him talk about all the great things he did each day. This past weekend, Timehop provided a huge surprise. I can’t believe he is so grown up!
I love sweater weather! I love feeling a chill in the air and sleeping with a window open. It’s also nice to be able to wear makeup without it sweating off and having cool enough temperatures to wear your hair down. It’s nice to have fires in the backyard and sit around with the people I love most. Running is definitely easier in the fall. It is easier to breathe, and I don’t have sweat dripping in my eyes. This week, I loved watching the colors begin to change as a ran the Boulevard.
The transition to back to school is as seamless as turning on a switch for us. I am amazed at how well we all go back into school mode. Over the summer, we did a great job of keeping Liam on his school sleep schedule, eliminating one of the hardest transitions. Come September, we go back to meal planning on Sundays, afternoon errands, remembering forms and projects, planning and correcting (me), homework, evening walks, and filling the weekends with fall activities. I love knowing that we have full, productive days.
Random Warm Days
As much as I love cooler temperatures, nothing screams fall in New England quite like a random fall day with temperatures in the 80’s. My favorite things to do on these warm days is to head to the beach, even if we go after school. I pack our beach gear in the car the night before. Mike, who gets out of work after me, picks up a pizza and meets us there. Being able to enjoy the beach in September (and sometimes October) is one of the greatest treats.
While being busy, I think we do a better job of appreciating each other as a family. We make a point of eating dinner together and talking about our day. Each evening, we take a walk around the neighborhood. If we miss more than a day or two, Liam reminds us that we are overdue. Mike and I carve time for ourselves after Liam goes to bed, even if we just chit chat or watch Big Bang Theory reruns. We have at home date nights on Saturdays, sitting outside or watching a movie. Because we are so busy, time becomes a gift we give each other. I love weekend adventures, trying to get as many chores as possible done during the week to gain more weekend time together. The time together seems even more precious.
Years of working retail killed any excitement about Christmas I had as a child. Obviously, Liam brought a lot of it back, but I have never been a huge Christmas person. I do the bare minimum when it comes to decorating. I make sure Liam has a great holiday, but I do not play Christmas music or watch holiday movies.
Halloween is my favorite! I love the silliness or decorating and dressing up. There is something fun about the idea of dressing up and being silly. Liam and I make a point of buying a few new Halloween decorations each year. We start talking about his costume in the spring. Halloween gives us all a chance to relive our childhood, eat candy, and have fun! We make great plans and spend way more money and time on his costumes than I can to confess. We’ve made props to accompany his costumes, my favorite was when we turned his wagon into a boat when he dressed as Max from Where the Wild Things Are. Each Halloween, we have friends join us trick or treating through the neighborhood. We stop by friends’ houses and see the kids in the neighborhood. Halloween is one of my favorite things about fall.