Summer Has a Start and Finish, Just Like a Race

Summer Has a Start and Finish, Just Like a Race

The shotgun blast that started summer’s race is long over, but the scream of back-to-school season is just as loud. I think I have all 13 weeks of astronomical summer to finish everything on my list, but if the first day of school marks its end, then “real-feel” summer is only 8 weeks and 3 days. Summer is slipping away, as fast as a monarch’s wings in a sunny meadow.

Entering this race (everyone finishes!) was exciting and gave me much motivation to soak up the sunshine, to languish in the beauty of forest preserves and prairies, to laugh with my teen 3/4-men and my sweet elderly parents. There was great momentum to take that late walk with my husband, the last bike ride before rain, the last photographs of the compass flower and the bee balm, and the last picnic in the woods with friends.


There was the cool breeze in the air as I walked to the donut shop with my dad and Chef’s Tony’s pig roast to appreciate at my parents’ retirement home. There were enormous white rocking chairs to rest in and admire the pink perennials with my mom. I am grateful for simple summer fun.


Austin’s first day of college starts in 2 weeks and so does Trevor’s final year of high school. My parents will finish their second summer in independent living with me as their caregiver. Our foster son Chris finished 3 years of living with our family and started Army basic training in Georgia. Austin started and finished his business internship and did very well. Trevor finished his baseball and basketball league successfully. And as for me: I started bike riding and Pinterest and finished my 25th blog post. How about that for a lot of starts and finishes in 2 months?


Now I race against time, preparing for a vacation in Costa Rica with my husband and sons. I am the designated travel supervisor and have lots to do and, supposedly, all the answers. There will be a strong finish that will give me some perspective on my summer, I’m sure. But right now I feel butterflies–that familiar feeling of starting yet another race.

What about you? Did you feel like summer is a race, too? Did you hit a “runner’s high” or obstacle in your parenting or caregiving this season? Please tell me about it. I’d like to learn from you so I can prepare for next summer! Subscribe by email and you won’t miss any updates of Doing The Senior Shuffle. Just type your email address in the box and click the “create subscription” button. My list is completely spam free, and you can opt out at any time.

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    Carole Pye

    I’m a freelance writer married to thrill-seeking husband, Jim, and mom to fantastic teenage sons: Austin, (18) Trevor, (16) and volunteer foster son, Chris (18). I am also a proud caregiver for my parents, Bob, a WWII Army Air Corps veteran, 87, and Jean, his wife, 85. In between the shuttling and the shuffling of senior boys and senior parents, you can find me sitting still, enjoying a cup of steaming hot tea while pondering the next thing to do.

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