Monday, August 27, 2012

Last Days of Summer Vacation

 First day of school last year - back to school this year in T minus 10 days.

Summer is winding down here in CNY, and school starts in 10 days for our kids.  The Princess is excited, and looking forward to having a routine again.  One of her best friends is in her class this year, too, which helps.  Safety Guy is half excited and half anxious, with some perseveration on the possibility of bullying again this year.  We're trying to keep some fun in summer while it lasts and not dwell on school starting.  Safety Guy has been a bit volatile lately, and I can tell its his anxiety kicking in over school starting.  Tonight he had his 8th grade orientation and got to meet some of his teachers, put stuff in his new locker with a new lock (with an easy combination, thankfully), find his classrooms, and reconnect with some friends.

We've had some fun family times this summer.  Last weekend we went to Enchanted Forest/Water Safari in Old Forge, NY.  It was a great break for us, and the rarest of rare things for us occurred:  a family day trip without a single meltdown by anyone.  Whoa, what a novelty!  Seriously, though, to have a day trip to an exciting (read: seriously overstimulating) place and a few hours in the car (read:  too much togetherness) without any sort of meltdown is, for us, a rarity.  We had a picnic lunch, a great time at the water park, did a handful of the other rides, and ended the day with everyone wanting to do it again next year, only for longer - maybe an overnight trip next time.  The only down side:  I forgot my camera.  Oh, well, I've got pictures in my memory.


The Princess is still enjoying her horseback riding lessons.  She's a natural, and I can see this interest continuing for a long, long time.  I'm okay with that - although I know it's not an inexpensive pursuit (in time or money), neither are regular sports or other activities like dance or drama.  She's taking a break from soccer this fall, so that frees up some time in our family schedule, much to my relief.  I promised her a trail ride this summer, and summer's almost over, so I think I'd better see if we can squeeze one in next week before school starts.  PYY has a long memory for promises.

Speaking of promises, we'll be getting the Princess her much-anticipated bearded dragon soon, probably this weekend.  I'll share pics when the big day arrives.  For now, we'll set up the habitat and make sure we can regulate the temperature correctly for the little critter.  I hope we can be successful with this, since I'd hate to have her beardie suffer from poor health or die because of our inexperience.  We've done a lot of research to try to do this right, since her lizard could live for 10 years or so.  (The thing is, it might be MY lizard for a while when she goes off to college.  And I know she's not ready to be 100% in charge of its health yet, so if we learn together, we'll have the best odds of having a healthy, happy bearded dragon in the family.)  She's still debating its name, so I'll let that be a surprise when I post pictures.

I'm glad the summer is almost done.  It's been a good one, the least stressful one I've had in years, actually, but I love the fall.  I love the swing of the seasons.  I love the cool nights, warm days, clear skies, changing leaves, and putting the garden to bed.  I love the harvest, the comfort foods for cool days, the stargazing on the deck without too many bugs, and anticipating the fall holidays.  I'm ready to get back to work at the school, and I'm starting to build up some momentum again in making stuff for my Etsy shop and for Hartsville Hollow.  New projects, new ideas, and looking toward the future - in the fall of the year, I find that easier to do than in the spring, because I can anticipate long dark evenings, cool clear days, and a routine to work around.  Unplanned summer time actually can be more trying for me and my family than the school year.  I suspect many families feel that way, whether or not they have children with autism issues.

Welcome, autumn.  I'm so glad to see you again.