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Amanda Lamb: Fading summer

Posted August 6

It's hard to believe my kids go back to school in just about a week. The summer flew by as usual. I know they're not ready, but I sure am.

I recognize this sounds like the statement of the mother of young children who can't wait to get unruly children out of her hair, but I have teenagers. What I am really looking forward to returning to is routine.

School, sports, dance ... they all happen on a schedule at predictable times. Because I know the schedule, I can plan around it. But in the summertime there is no real schedule. My kids spring last-minute plans on me every single day and I have to adjust.

Granted, freedom from routine is good for everyone for a limited period of time. It gives us room to breathe and to recharge our batteries. But there is also something very comforting about routine, about waking up knowing every single day where you are going and what you are doing. Maybe it's because my job is so unpredictable that I crave routine in my children's lives.

I know they love endless slumber parties, sleeping in, eating breakfast at 11 a.m. and hanging out with their friends 24/7. But I also suspect even they look forward to regaining a little structure in their lives. 

I also think contrast is what life is all about. Summer is great because of the hectic nature of the school year. Without that contrast, doing nothing for days on end may not be so appealing.

So, enjoy your last little bit of freedom kids. Soon it's back to the books and a calendar that Mom can count on.

Amanda is the mom of two, a reporter for WRAL-TV and the author of several books including some on motherhood. Find her here on Mondays.

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