'Too much summer' not worst problem to have

One of my mom's signature phrases was, "Too much weekend."

She would pull it out on a Sunday evening when I was anxious to get to bed early or a Monday morning when I was less than anxious to get out of bed. During the 15 months I lived at home after graduating from college, I went out a lot. And so I heard this phrase many, many, many times.

As we spent our first full day of vacation in Saugatuck, Mich., on Aug. 15 lounging around the house - rather than heading to the beach or to some activity - I kept thinking of a modification of my mom's expression.

"Too much summer," I thought to myself.

Part of me sees this as a completely ridiculous thing to say, much as I thought the notion of "too much weekend" was absurd. After all, wasn't the problem actually too little weekend? Wouldn't one more day off provide time to rest and recoup from all the fun there was to be had? I can't remember if I never broached this line of thinking with my mom or she didn't buy it. I'm guessing the latter.

And while I would not really endorse an extra week off from school (it was definitely time for Ainsley to go back and all of us to resume a regular schedule), I do think we might have tried to cram too much into the past 12 weeks.

The plan looked good on paper while I was orchestrating it in February. Driving out to Maryland to meet my birth mother, Pat, and then spending a second week in New Jersey and Washington, D.C., sounded like a great idea. And it was great. We had a wonderful time getting to know Pat and her husband, Steve. Ainsley was introduced to the Jersey Shore and our nation's capital. We caught up with old friends. It was delightful. And exhausting.

Another decision we made earlier this year was to add a second week of sleep-away camp to Ainsley's summer camp schedule, per her request. As we were coordinating dates with two different friends for two different camps, we wound up scheduling them only a week apart.

Spending seven days at home seemed like it would be enough time, but it felt very rushed. And then Ainsley had just one week at home after the second sleep-away camp before we headed to Saugatuck.

Fortunately, we've enjoyed just about everything Saugatuck has to offers on previous trips, so we didn't have a long list of must-dos. We took it easy this year. We went to the beach three times instead of the usual four or five. We didn't worry about getting up early. (Ainsley slept in one day until 10!)

And it's a good thing, because the schedule is starting to fill up again. There's school, of course. And Ainsley will be juggling marching band, orchestra, jazz band and Spirito choir along with homework and her responsibilities around the house.

My schedule is getting busier, too. The slow trickle of news that characterizes late July and August has been replaced by a flood of emails announcing various meetings and events and fundraisers. The first Central football game is tomorrow, for goodness sake, and our full fall sports coverage starts in next week's paper.

Before we know it, the temperatures will drop and we'll be getting ready for Halloween and then Thanksgiving. Fall will be in full swing.

And summer? Well, I'm pretty sure we'll agree we didn't get enough of it.

- Pamela Lannom is editor of The Hinsdalean. Readers can email her at [email protected].

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Pamela Lannom is editor of The Hinsdalean