Monday, 31 August 2009

Last days of summer

The end of summer seems to have crept up on us unexpectedly, even though I've been thinking about it for weeks.

Suddenly the nights and mornings are cooler again. The fireflies in the garden are no more; their disappearance coincided with the start of a deafening chorus of cicadas and crickets at night. The lawn is scattered with tiny acorns, half chewed by squirrels; the Littleboys collect them with glee. The hydrangeas, just starting to bloom when we moved in, are dry and brown.

Next weekend will be Labor Day, when by all accounts, American summer traditionally comes to an abrupt end; however warm it may be, there are no more lifeguards on the beach, the town pool closes and everyone goes back to school. (I've also been told that it's a tradition that no-one wears white after Labor Day - not that I wear it very often, with two small boys wielding ketchup bottles in the vicinity). The aisle in the supermarket that was selling paddling pools and coolboxes is now full of toy Halloween pumpkins (although I really can't believe that anyone, even in America, buys Halloween stuff in August. Do they?).

It will be weird, because pretty well ever since we've been here, it has been summer. My weekdays in the US have revolved around finding ways to keep the Littleboys cool - ice creams, sprinklers, beaches - and religiously applying suncream to their little arms and legs. We've eaten a diet of barbecues and salads; striven to keep the house cool with a daily ritual of opening windows and turning on fans and airconditioners, plus frantically closing doors to protect us from the mosquitoes (something I am definitely not going to miss). It has, by all accounts, been a relatively cool summer for New York, but to me it has felt incredibly warm after two dismal London summers.

But now, 'Fall' is almost upon us. The Littleboys will be starting preschool, and I will be starting to look for work again. Finally, we will have a kind of routine instead of randomly pottering to the park, library or beach every day. I also feel as if we will be starting to live American life for real, after a strange kind of honeymoon period. The boys will make new friends, people from nursery that I don't know, and probably start speaking with American accents. Already little words are creeping in; Littleboy 1 told me the other day that a discarded apple core was 'garbage'. (I feel sad about this - I like their little British accents and would really quite like to be Mummy, not Mommy, for a bit longer.)

It's exciting, and it's also pretty scary. Time for a whole new chapter.

12 comments:

Insomniac Mummy said...

The seasons are definitely changing.

Here's to a great new chapter!

x

Brit in Bosnia / Fraught Mummy said...

It's funny how the autumn feels like everything is changing. Even though my two have been in nursery all summer (thank everything on earth for that!) today had a real feeling of change and difference to it. Might have something to do with the fact this is the first day they've been in long trousers for a long time.

You will breathe a huge sigh of time to yourself when the boys start at preschool. You will deserve every moment of sitting still in silence contemplating the world go past.

Iota said...

Garbage not trash?

Metropolitan Mum said...

A lovely post. Word verification says 'likersha'. Sounds like 'I like it' in Slovenian or so.

Nota Bene said...

You had summer? You had summer! Deep envy from grey England

Liberty London Girl said...

ha ha ha *laughs drily* you thought THAT was a hot East Coast summer?

Was US equivalent of bad British summer. Practically Arctic. oh well, think of it as a warm up (ha!) for the real thing. LLGxx

Mwa said...

Yeah, I don't get why children don't take their parents' accents. My nephew spends a few hours a week at preschool, and still he uses their English accent rather than his constantly present Scottish mother's. I just don't understand.

Nicola said...

I also can't believe summer is almost over. So quick. Unlike the winters...which drrraaaagggg. Both boys went back to school today. Summer really is over. And in the 9 years I have been in Chicago it has never been this cool in August. Most unsettling.

Ooh as an aside - I visited a friend in the burbs yesterday and she started asking me what the boys were going to be dressed in for Halloween. I just stared at her in disbelief. Some Americans really are already planning for their favourite holiday - which is still over 2 months away!!!!!

Mud in the City said...

Well I'm looking forward to hearing about all the new American mommies you'll be about to meet!

It might not have been 'hot' hot in NY, but believe me, Texas was sizzling!

nappy valley girl said...

IM - yes, and at least change is good blog fodder too.

Brit in Bosnia - sitting in silence, yes, but I'm also going to get a hair cut, a massage and treat myself to a shopping trip the minute they are at that nursery....

Iota - yes, garbage (and I know where they picked it up from - Dora the bloody Explorer.)

Met Mum - thank you. Word veris always surprise me with their appropriateness....

NB - oh come on, surely you had a few hot days? Wasn't it better than last year?

LLG - Oh, I know it gets much hotter, but believe me, last summer in London we barely sat outside to eat once...

Mwa - I guess it's peer pressure, of a pyschological kind any way. Mind you, I find myself putting on a distinctly American twang sometimes too...

Nicola - you know, this very morning I spoke to a mother who said her little boy was obsesssed with ghosts 'because it's coming up to Halloween'. Hello?

Mud - I'll bet. It's not been sizzlng here at all, never into the 100s this summer, but 85 and humid is enough for me.

Muddling Along Mummy said...

Its strange how September always feels like the start of the year, so much more so than January

Hope that the 'new year' brings a great new chapter in the transatlantic story

Paradise Lost In Translation said...

we're still in full on summer here, for which I am very grateful as 8 wks in the UK, we barely glimpsed any warmth. My children pick up the vocab more than the accents. In partic they insist on 'going to the bathroom' and asking what we are going to do 'ON the weekend'.

Hope you enjoy your bit of'space'. My youngest started school this week, &it's made me fee a bit wobbly!