end of the endless summer

Our seven-week summer vacation ended today. We left the country yesterday, from the house and expanse of grass to our small city apartment, and Grandma and Grandpa went to the airport for their (much delayed) flight to America. This morning, NK went to daycare, and I headed back to work.

Now that we have kids, I knew that the rhythm of my life would return somewhat to that of childhood, with summer vacations and that tingling nervousness and excitement of September and school (well, in Sweden, August, but it feels like an American September). But, what with all this vacation and parental leave and multiple kids, I got the summer off, so I had that tingling feeling first hand, not second.

Seven weeks is a long time. Long enough for a baby to gain several kilos and really get comfortable in the world, a slightly fussy sausage (to directly translate the Swedish) turned into a beaming Energizer battery sitting and getting up on all fours and smiling and laughing with anyone and everyone. It is long enough for a toddler to noticeably grow and grow up, to get potty trained, to make her first friend over the summer house fence. It is long enough for two parents of young children to get enough space for mushroom picking and fishing and lawn mowing and writing and that is even with the complete breakdown of sleep patterns, toddlers up to 10, babies up at 4, the works.

But order was restored this morning. NK did not want to take out her braids and wash her hair. No, that did not go well. But the rest of the morning did, and the girl who did not want to go to daycare in the spring, was happy to be there this morning, even with the chaos of a new beginning and almost no teachers and just a few familiar faces. And I cleaned up, if taking a shower and shaving and wearing a 30-year-old blue shirt of my father’s counts for cleaning up. And the baby and his mother picked up the wreckage in the apartment, with smiles and songs and a long, long nap.

Here comes the fall. Which is good. Though I can not wait for next summer …

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