Summer, see you in about 10 minutes or so

As I have explained before, I am not a fan of the term "meteorological summer." I mean, there's an actual summer - which begins with the solstice on June 21. Changing the start date to June 1 just to make things easy seems lazy to me.

But when I look at my calendar, June 1 - the day Ainsley will graduate from eighth grade - does mark the start of my summer.

And it will be here before I know it.

A quick look at my calendar shows I'll barely have time to breathe over the next seven weeks or so. Of course, most of the dates on my calendar - other than school and village board meetings and a rare social engagement (like spa day with my best friend on Saturday!) - have to do with Ainsley.

Things really get busy a week from Saturday, when she hops on a bus at 6:45 a.m. to head to Madison, Wis., with her Spirito choir friends. She returns at 5:45 p.m. Sunday, with 75 whole minutes to unpack, eat dinner and relax before heading to church for a mandatory meeting on the Appalachian Service Project trip she'll take in late July.

The first week of May, extra rehearsals start for Spirito's spring concert, the final performance of the year. Fortunately there's no rehearsal May 4, which is the date of her final band concert at school. But we'll have to figure out something for May 3, when she has her final confirmation meeting and a mandatory rehearsal.

Exhausted, she'll perform with the school band at Music in the Parks Saturday of that week before heading to nearby Six Flags Great America. There she'll likely get sick from riding rides or eating too much funnel cake - or both. Returning home after 9 p.m., she probably will be too wound up to get a good night's sleep so she can be ready for her confirmation at 10:30 that morning and her final Spirito concert that afternoon (call time of 1:30!).

After that grueling week and another week of making up missed homework, she'll have a couple of weeks to decompress before we head down to Bloomington for my best friend's daughter's bridal shower on Memorial Day weekend. Just her normal routine of morning band rehearsal three times a week, Thursday afternoon jazz band rehearsal and math tutoring twice a week.

We return from the bridal shower on Sunday and then on Wednesday, my birth mom and birth dad and his wife arrive in town for her Thursday graduation. Her party will follow on Saturday, family will go home on Monday, I'll go to the Illinois Press Association annual convention on Thursday and Dan, Ainsley and I leave for Saugatuck on Friday.

I'm exhausted just writing about it!

We always find our week in Michigan - which normally occurs in August but had to be rescheduled due to marching band camp - relaxing. We'll have to make sure to do a whole lot of nothing that week, because when we get back, the action starts up again, with VBS volunteering, summer camp, the aforementioned mission trip, an in-state wedding and an out-of-state wedding.

Fortunately all but the weddings only apply to Ainsley - but they are still on my calendar.

And yes, I am aware that I have just one child. Those of you with a larger family are looking at a schedule with this many commitments times two or three!

I'm also fully aware that we are blessed both to be able to offer all these opportunities to Ainsley and to have them ourselves.

I just need to make sure I schedule in some time for naps. And to stay, as much as I can, in the present moment. Or else it will be "meteorological fall" before I know 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