Summer’s Not a Bitch. Fall? That’s the Real Bitch.


I used to actually really  kind of hate summer.

When my kids were young and the days were endless.  Rise at 6, sunlight till FOREVER.  Battles over bedtime because “it wasn’t night yet.”

Making those mistakes of trying to stay up late because “maybe they’ll sleep in just this once.”

And they didn’t.

Wanting to be outside later in the evening, when it was still light, but having young kids didn’t allow that.

I wished those days away and craved Fall and its promises of shorter, cooler days and a better, more reliable schedule.

And then my kids grew up.

And started sleeping in when I wanted them to.

And started being able to go the distance in the evenings in the summertime.  More so than me sometimes.

And started having heavy school year schedules and lots of homework.  And projects.  And extra-curriculars.  And tests.  And stress.

And I began to see who the real asshole was.  It wasn’t summer, with its endlessly beautiful days and its skin pinking warmth.  Its giggles and laughter.  Swim team, tennis and summer camp.  Carefree living, no friend drama, no tests, no homework.

The real bitch is Fall.  I kind of hate her now.  Her who I  used to love for the promise of reliability, I now resent for the chains of a schedule that will last nine months with daily drudgery, homework and busy schedules.

Have I mentioned the busy schedules?  How could I have thought I was busy when my kids were younger?  Seriously.

And here’s the other thing about Fall, that sneaky bitch.  She tiptoes in, minute by minute in August, robbing us of our daylight, bringing back to school shoe shopping and supply shopping, having the school calendar uploaded to the school website.  Stress about going back to the grind starts creeping in, just a little bit at first, but more and more as the days tick down to the FIRST DAY OF SCHOOL.

And before you know it, backpacks are already purchased and packed, emergency forms are filled out, schedules are getting set, and you say, “Wait a GOSH DARNED MINUTE HERE!  WHERE DID OUR SWEET CAREFREE SUMMER GO?”

And you look around.

You can still see her here and there.  It’s still warm.  The pool’s still open.  You can still bike ride when you want.

But she’s getting tired.  She’s losing her long beautiful days, her mornings and evenings are getting cooler, and you can see her starting to slip away, much like Charlotte at the Fair in Charlotte’s Web.

And then you realize your kids are rested and refreshed.  Summer’s done its job for them.  She’s brought them closer to us, their parents, before the inherent “schoolness” takes them away again.  She’s grown them, tanned them, lightened their hair.  She’s given them some cuts and scrapes along the way, but she’s fortified them for their upcoming next 9 month gig.

And she whispers to you, in that that sweet, sweet summer voice of hers, “We did good, mom.  But it’s time to let them go for another year.  Don’t worry, though, there’s always next summer.  I’ll come back, I always do.”



  1. I’m still in the “summer is not my friend” camp – though it’s really only the 4 weeks before & after the equinox that I hate (because bedtime) . . . once my kids are able to put themselves to bed? Or, you know, just not have every detail of their bedtime need to be supervised/done for them, I know that will change.

  2. Beautiful thoughts. One thing good about fall is, you get time to pick your jaw up off the floor while thinking “WOW, how did that kid grow 2 inches during the summer?” and sorting through their clothes– trying not to get sentimental and enjoying failing at it.

  3. Hi Missy,
    Nice to be back at your blog after a little hiatus!
    I always worked hard to keep summer as simple as possible. Now my older boys are 23 and 21, working full time all summer. My youngest is still at home, also working, but seems to find a lot of free time. He’ll be a senior this year. I just wish summer lasted until after labor day. Our school starts August 18th. I’d rather go a little longer in the spring and start a little later in the summer. Enjoy your last few weeks!

  4. Oh my goodness, that comparison to Charlotte at the end of the fair is perfect.
    I still love fall, the promise of fresh beginnings. The return to routine.
    Anything is possible.

    But the older my kids get, the more I worry about how quickly the time is slipping away.
    My daughter starts her sophomore year and my son his junior. This August.

    I’m down to just a few more falls with them.
    So I’m savoring every one.

  5. I feel the same way! Summer goes by so fast and at the end you are left gasping with all the back to school stuff that needs to be taken care off. I worked all summer and this week is my one week off and then it’s back to work for me.

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