Today is the first day of school! I have adjusted to it now but when my daughter first started school I almost made her miss her first day. Lee County, which includes the island of Sanibel, is one of the first school districts to resume after summer vacation. Growing up in the north, it seemed to me that we still had a few weeks to go. As we all know, back to school dates vary from district to district and fall between today through the week of Labor Day. What is universal during this time is that need you feel to get in one last summer moment and, at the same time, the lingering concern in the back of your mind that it will be the item on your endless ‘back to school to-do list’ that just won’t get ‘to-done.’
I was facing this very situation these past few days as I counted notebooks, stocked backpacks with the appropriate supplies, unpacked backpacks and restocked again (I was pretty sure I had made an error when I realized I had put the crayons in my daughter’s backpack and the graphing calculator in my son’s. Crayons in 8th grade math are probably not the best choice of tool if you’re hoping to make a good impression with your teachers!) and wistfully stared out the window wondering if I’d have a chance to enjoy some fun in the sun with my kids before the school year began again.
Somehow, miraculously, I managed to wrap up everything on the to-do lists with time to spare. It was only Tuesday night – we had a whole day left! I woke the kids up bright and early the next morning and the whole family had breakfast at Sea Breeze Café at Sundial, including my husband who called in late to work so he could join us. We all ordered something different and when it arrived there were forks zooming dangerously over top of the table as we each were trying to snag a taste of one another’s dish. Between the four of us we had the Eggs Benedict, Stuffed French Toast, Belgian Waffle and Steak and Eggs! I couldn’t believe it but, as I surveyed the table at the end of the meal, the only remnants of our breakfast were the sticky coatings of syrup and the yellow trail of egg yolk and béarnaise painted across the plates. I had to admit, I was impressed.
My husband headed of to work and the kids and I discussed the plans for the day. We decided, based on the breakfast we had all just consumed, that it was probably best to wait a little bit before we went swimming. In the meantime, we decided to rent some of the bikes available (we had left ours at home) and take a ride up and down the beach for a little while.
By the time we were finished with our bike ride there was no question – it was pool time! My son was down the slide and in the water before I knew it. It’s amazing how fast a kid can move when motivated. My daughter and I entered with a little more poise but no less relief to finally be in the water after a hot bike ride.
After a few minutes I got out and made myself comfortable on one of the chaises. I had found the perfect spot to get some sun and I had the best view in the world: my kids happily in the water and the beautiful Gulf of Mexico as a backdrop. Now that’s a great way to spend the last day of their summer together.