Summer has finally found us!

After a few false starts, it looks like the warm weather is here to stay for a while. I have been looking forward to the telltale signs of the season – the smell of charcoal from the grill in the evening, the sounds of the kids laughing and running around in the yard, lightning bugs illuminating our path during evening strolls…

Of course, the presence of summer also means that the kids are home from school. No more homework after dinner and 8pm bedtimes. Instead, they get to trade those in for extended playtime and staying up late (10pm – because we party like rock stars around here).

This was a pretty big milestone school year. Lexxie started Kindergarten. She put on a brave face on that first day of school as she walked into her classroom and found her seat. There were no tears – a little apprehension – but she held it together. She knew the routine after preschool the previous year. She caught on pretty quick and before I knew it, she was bringing home all E’s in reading and math.

Maddox found his rhythm during the second half of his 1st grade year, so 2nd grade was a breeze. He’s come a very long way from that little guy who cried everyday at drop off in Kindergarten. He definitely hit a stride and struggling through schoolwork became a thing of the distant past. He was an honor roll student all year long. It was a long, difficult journey to get there but once he made it, there was no stopping him.

And that brings me to my…(gulp)…high schooler. I can’t believe that my baby girl is starting high school in the fall. This was a good year for her. She was in the STEM program, the director of the morning news show and an SGA representative. She showed off her incredible musical talents by playing flute and alto saxophone in the 8th grade band and the jazz band. She’s ready to add tenor sax to that list now. During her downtime, she took programming classes offered by Harvard and MIT. This summer she is going away to a major university where she will learn game development in C++. That’s my girl [insert very proud smile here].

So now that school is out and schedules are easygoing, I took the wee ones to the splash park after work on Monday for the first time this season. It is so incredible to see how much the kids have changed in the last year. Maddox was ready to ditch the kiddie area in favor of deeper waters and Lexxie no longer sits on the side waiting for me to join her.

We are looking forward to making some really great memories over the next couple of months. We have concerts, beach trips, camps (band! cheerleading! tech!), friends visiting from afar, amusement parks, and so many other good times on the horizon.