Summer’s Over – Or Is It by Erin Farwell

IMG_3021_1I live in Georgia, where the summers are scorching and school starts in August. Yes, August. Fulton County schools started yesterday, the latest start for schools in our area.

When my daughter was young, the start of the school year was difficult for both of us. All summer we had slept in, read, played, dinked around, and generally had a great time together. As Willow has gotten older, I have taken on more responsibilities outside of child rearing including fiction and freelance writing, teaching, and volunteering on the PTA board. Since she started middle school, I work most CIMG0659summer weekdays but she gets one “fun day” per week where she picks an activity that we do together. It’s a good compromise but not the same, though we still enjoy a good sleep-in.

Yesterday she started 8th grade and I am left to wonder where the time has gone and how I kept my sanity this summer. I remember the sense of loss and anxiety I felt as she went off for her first day of Kindergarten and I wonder where the time went. When did she get so smart, talented, confident, and beautiful and how did I survive a summer with this same teenager who is figuring out her place in the world and driving me crazy in the process?

IMG_20150810_075703 (2)She was ready to go back to school this week and I was ready for her to go. I have freelance writing commitments and my next manuscript absolutely, positively has to be turned into my publisher by mid-November. I have PTA committees to oversee and classes to teach starting in September. My mother and I are going to Bouchercon in October and I’ll be helping a friend run some art booths at a few shows. I want to spend time with friends, especially the Moms’ night out crew, Jodi, and Stephanie. Steph and I were roommates in Chicago and she moved down here this spring. Given my crazy schedule I haven’t been able to spend much time with her but hopefully that will change now that school is back in session.


Actually, I am hoping several things will happen now that school has started again. I plan to create and stick to a stringent writing schedule, keep the house clean, make healthy and flavorful meals, exercise at least three days per week, and, as long as I’m fantasizing, lose 20 pounds and shave off a few years while eating tons of chocolate. A woman can dream.

The odd thing is that in Georgia, for those of us with kids, we are asking ourselves, “Where did the summer go?” People without kids or who live in other parts of the country, look at us like we’re crazy and say, “What are you talking about? It’s still August.”

How is your summer going?

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27 thoughts on “Summer’s Over – Or Is It by Erin Farwell

  1. I’m writing this comment at my desk at school before the first day for teachers begins. So our summer is over too. I don’t have any kids, so summer was a time of lots of writing. I did a second draft on the book that comes out in October and wrote a whole first draft of a novella. I think the key for me was maintaining a routine on as many days as possible, so having a school schedule will, hopefully, keep me writing.

    And I intend to lose about 60 pounds. And that can’t be a dream, unless I want to have a heart attack in the next few years. School’s routine helps with that too.

    Wow, that was kind of rambling. Sorry. I did enjoy your post.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Summer, what summer? Summer is my busy time and with the rains, destroyed basement it is even crazier this year. Still, there have been some good times. When I remember them I’ll let you all know. (GRIN).

    I remember heading back to school, and although summer was fun, I just liked school. Doris

    Liked by 1 person

    1. This summer was boring enough that Willow was ready to go back to school. I remember looking forward to summer so much, but going back to school just as much when I was a kid. Thanks for the comments. 🙂


  3. Great post, Erin! It’s so strange to me that kids go back to school in August. School seems to be starting earlier and earlier, including here in L.A. Not like when I was growing up and it was always September. Love the pics and maybe I’ll see you at Bouchercon!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I grew up in Michigan and it was (and still is) the law that school can’t start before Labor Day. I like that. As for Bouchercon, let’s make a point of at least saying “hi” to each other.


    2. It’s the worst kept secret in our school district that they are moving toward year-round school, or, as they call it, a balanced calendar. I’m not sure what’s balanced about it, but I sure wouldn’t mind if we did. Shorter summer (which we pretty much have anyway) but three longer breaks throughout the year.


  4. I cried when my daughter turned 13. It seemed like her young childhood had passed by so quickly and we were at a turning point. Not to scare yiu, but with both of my kids 15 was the worse year. There was a small rebellion at 13. When I wasnin achool, when our tablets were made of stone and our pencils were chisels, school started the day after Labor day. Hope you and Stephanie get some time together. Where is Boucheron this year? Willow is beautiful, just like her mother. Cher’ley

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I remember lazy summers and time to regroup emotionally with long summers on the farm. I know it’s not the same for city kids so perhaps they like school starting early. Still, I think kids need time off as in a long summer. However, today’s society with many parents gone all day has perhaps changed that need. Love your plans, Joe. They fit right in with my dream plans! Can sympathize with dealing with teens too Erin. While I now have a granddaughter starting 8th grade, I still remember my girls as they began that teenage journey too.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Summer has blown by for me as well, and though I have no kids to get off to school, I do have writing obligations (had MANY in July, now things are a bit slower, thankfully!), and I am looking forward to the autumn season when I can get back to manuscript writing. I get a few weekends of “fun” this weekend and next, with concerts, writing retreat, and Humane Society event, so these last few weeks of summer/August should be fulfilling! Great post, Erin, and it’s nice to see you back! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Since I took early retirement, I’ve discovered that the seasons are definitely different. In Vegas, the summer’s are awful, almost always over 100 degrees — and little rain. We got a bit today — one inch in about 2 hours (lol). Weekends are different too when you don’t have a regular job. I don’t need to obey the clock except for various appointments like the doctor and dentist. So while I can identify with the balancing act you must perform to enjoy the company of your 8th grade daughter as well as do everything else you want to do in your life, all that stuff is mostly in my past. But I have to admit… I wasn’t always all that good at setting priorities in those hectic days of yesteryear.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Our schools start back next week, Erin. Although we’ve had the six week break, there haven’t actually been all that many sunny days over that break so it’s always with trepidation that parents see in the start of the school year. There have been many years in the past when the ‘heat of the summer’ only arrived for us after the school term started and this year may be the same. That tends to mean reluctance to go to school when a sunny day ‘happens’. 😦 I hope you can manage to keep to your writing schedule after all of Willow’s new ‘after school’ activities are sorted out.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, Nancy. This week I’m working out the kinks but did get some things done. My husband was driving my car today when it went clunk – will cost $1,800 to fix so I’ll be spending a lot of time at home next week which means more writing time. You gotta find the good in the bad. 🙂
      Also, love seeing all your facebook posts about your book. Congrats, congrats!


  9. Hey Erin,

    I hope to see you at Bouchercon as well. I guess I’m starting with a daughter. It seems like a long time before she goes to school, but I’m sure it will be sooner than expected. Working at UCLA, students don’t start until Sept. 21 which is crazy late this year… but I’m not complaining.


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