Celebrating the End of Summer and Back to School

My friends tell me this is quite the unpopular opinion, but I’ll be perfectly honest with you. I hate the end of summer. Don’t get me wrong, I’m totally over Houston’s hotter than Hades weather — Lord save me from another day of sweating through my bra simply walking outside to grab my latest Amazon package. And I’m so ready to dive into spooky season I can practically taste the pumpkin spice. But all that aside, I am nowhere near ready for the end of lazy summer days and a return to packing lunches, drop offs and pickups and homework and, oh God, sending my middle baby off to kindergarten.

And frankly, neither are my kids.

Nevertheless, summer is nearing its conclusion whether we’re ready or not. So rather than wallowing, our family has decided to go out with a bang! We’re going to celebrate the end of an amazing summer and the start of a brand new school year in style. Starting with…

End of Summer Bucket List

Now that we’ve hit the start of August with back to school right around the corner, my kids and I sat down together and made a list of all our favorite activities we’ve done this summer and any local places we hadn’t had the chance to visit and created our very own ‘End of Summer Bucket List”. Every day we’ll check off one item from our list, whether it’s something small like play a board game together, or a bigger adventure to the Houston Science Museum to check out their new shark exhibit. Tomorrow we plan on eating popsicles and swimming in the pool while blasting our favorite dance party playlist, and if that isn’t the best way to celebrate summer ending, I don’t know what is.

Summer Favorite Memories Huddle

One of my favorite ways to wrap up summer is by sitting down together as a family on the last weekend before school starts and talking about all our favorite summer memories. We pile around our kitchen table and reminisce about the trips we’ve taken, go through all the photos of us smiling on our adventures together, and everyone gets a chance to say what their favorite memory was. Last year I recorded everything in the Notes App on my phone, but this year I think I might start a ‘Summer Favorites’ notebook to dictate everyone’s answers and maybe even glue in a picture or two. I imagine adding to it every year and one day being able to look back on all the special times we spent together.

Back to School Baskets

Last but not least, I always like doing something to get the kids excited about going back to school. For some of you are raising little social butterflies, that might be as simple as talking about seeing all their friends soon, but for my shy boys, it’s no easy task. Last year I got the idea from a few Instagrammers I follow to create ‘Back to School Baskets’ filled with goodies to help ease the transition from summer rays to schooldays. I stuffed the baskets with tasty treats, funny school-themed socks, a new book to read together the night before school starts, a fun new shirt to wear for their first day, a set of cool notecards I can use to write them notes for their lunchbox, and for my new kindergartener, a special keychain with a photo of the two of us to put on his backpack to look at during moments when he’s sad or missing me.

Hopefully by celebrating the amazing summer we had together and marking the start of new school year with a special basket of goodies from Mommy, the back to school transition will feel a little easier this year for both my kids…and me.

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Lauren M
Lauren M. is a native Houstonian who now lives one street over from the house where she grew up in Sugar Land. After a brief fling with Austin where she received her Bachelors Degree in English Lit from Southwestern University, she returned home to attempt to write the great American novel {or, you know, the next Harry Potter series}. A short while later a friend recruited her for a kickball league where she met a tall, handsome engineer who quite literally swept her off her feet. After tying the knot in 2014, they soon welcomed their first son Raleigh {October 2015}, and little brothers Renner {January 2018} and Rafe {September 2021}. When not chasing around her three crazy Texas tornados and reveling in the boy mom life, Lauren has discovered a newfound passion for photography and Photoshop, creating whimsical family portraits at @andwhetherpigshavewings on Instagram. You can also find her at @polyjuiceandpixiedust .


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