I'm calling summer, right here, right now.
I will keep blogging summer for a couple more weeks as planned. But I'm backing off The Summer Project because I'm not feeling too summerly. I got some good posts out of it -- not as many as I hoped, but I can revisit next summer, or if I feel inspired anytime before then.
Three events today are driving my decision.
First, Ben played his first fall baseball game today, a 16-12 victory for the Robins over the Thunder. He walked once and struck out once, and had fun being back on the diamond. Fall ball doesn't have the same vibe, the same optimism as in the spring. That's not a criticism: Fall ball is actually nice and low key, perfect for Ben, and perfect to get some more baseball in that isn't high pressure. But it's definitely a signal that summer is concluding.
Lori and I did Big Costco today in preparation for the first week of school. The boys stayed home. As we were driving back, we got a call from a neighbor and another parent from the boys' school. The news was terrible, and is the second event. The former librarian who was switching over to teaching preschool, and an Open Classroom mom whose daughter has been in Michael's classes before, was shot six times in a domestic dispute. It wasn't even her dispute -- she was helping a friend, another OC mom whose daughter has been in a classmate of Michael as well -- when the husband opened fire on her. The guy eventually shot his wife four times as well before police subdued him. The news is so horrible. Both women are in the hospital in critical condition.
Needless to say, our day took a somber turn. I tried getting some work done but eventually dozed off watching Law & Order SVU (how's that for a sick way to cope ...). I grilled sliders for dinner, and then felt the need to get out of the house with the family. We picked up sno-cones and drove up to the H Rock to watch the sunset -- one of our annual day-before-school traditions. This was event No. 3, and even that wasn't perfect; we kind of missed the sunset through the haze that's been hanging over the valley because of the smoke from Western wildfires. But it was just what we needed. Popcorn got to run around, and Lori and I tried to get the tragedy out of our mind, but it was difficult when we couldn't help but check our phones for updates.
This week was so long. Fun, but long. I'm ready for the routine again, but hell, the kids are going to start school with this awful thing hanging above them next week. Summer shouldn't end like this. But it is. I'm moving into my August/September mix on my iPod, focusing on fantasy football, and already accepting that Halloween is only about nine weeks off.
Surely, I'm going to appreciate the summer of 2015 more and more in the coming days, weeks, months, and years.
That's just not going to happen tonight.