Summer is such a richly indulgent season, with equally indulgent parenting on our parts. Stay up until 10pm? Absolutely! Head out to the pool at 7pm when showers and stories should already be underway? I'll race you to the car! Ice cream for dinner? It's dairy--it's protein. Scoop me a dish!
We have all been dreading the end of this time, but now that Labor Day has passed, and we have the first day of school under our belts, I feel an odd sort of relief. I'm showered, my teeth are brushed, the kids have been sound asleep for an hour--and it's only 9:30pm. The alarm will go off at 6am, and I (hopefully) won't push the snooze button for 48 or so minutes as I have for much of the summer. The dog will be walked, Kyra will be on the bus, and I'll happily sip my coffee as I drive to work on time with consistency. The pattern feels comforting....as though we are returning to a sort of health and normalcy.
I remember when Matt and I first fell in love (disregarding for the moment the three crazy years of my being in love with him, his being in like with me, and so on....). Being with one another was such a feast for the senses. The sight of him, even from a distance, created heat deep in me. Taste...touch...scent...it was incredibly indulgent to just be near one another, and we gave into all sorts of crazy urges. We'd stay up talking into the wee, wee hours of the night. We'd be participating in public life, together, but utterly absorbed only in one another. I'm certain there were hours where we sat in church, went to movies, enjoyed family dinner when we literally didn't hear a word that was spoken by another person. It was exhilirating, and it is still exhilirating for me to remember those days.
But just the same, as with summer's end, it was something of a relief to settle into one another with comfort, with familiarity. I can still find that heat, but I don't have to call the fire department every time Matt brushes by me. We indulge in one another, but we can also sit with the kids at dinner and actually hear the stories they tell us about school or the game they just played. We have reentered the greater world, and while we savor the times when we can shut out that world and dive into the banquet of one another, we are just as glad to return to this new pattern of togetherness when those nights or weekends come to a close.
Will autumn's gold bring indulgence, too? But of course! The canoe is strapped to the trailer, and we have plans to float and hike our way through the bounty of the harvest--but Sunday evenings will bring a return to "early to bed, early to rise," and really, I'm glad for it. Glad for all of it.