On Summer Nights When Adults Are Tempted to Play Hooky Too

September’s twilight creeps green and orange in chill night air. Yellow and pink zinnia flowers stand tall beside rosy sedum.

Smoky woodfires scented the end of a kids’ park play date, and now children’s voices chirp loudly from trees. They leap, waving sticks, leaning close to growl make-believe battles.

My son races inside to grab a late supper. “Can I take my food outside, Mom?” he asks, wisping blonde hair cut close. “My friends have eaten already.”

“Sure, buddy. Careful, this part of the plate is hot.” I set his saucer on the front stoop, and watch him balance lemonade and cheesy enchiladas.

Summer has surrendered and fall has flown in! Sharpened pencils, notebooks, and mounding schoolbooks stack precarious in one corner of the dining room table.

And even though I’m the teacher, I admit it. I’m tempted to play hooky. Summer swim dates at the YMCA pool, gardening pleasures, and a slower pace still call me. As a mom and teacher, I’d love to hide away the schoolbooks and schedules, linger long over morning coffee tomorrow, and walk barefoot through wet grass to the swing instead.

Photo Credit: Flickr user John Benson, Creative Commons cc license

You too?

But instead, I’ll get an early night’s sleep, brew a tall French press coffee, and pull up chairs with my fourth grader tomorrow.

My tall nineteen year old daughter is back in college; grown-man-son and his wife have graduated college and now both work full-days nearby. Youngest son scales trees and joins me most days at the table for fourth grade now, and my husband and I are trying to model this grown up life. Soaking in Jesus, thanking him for life and joys each day, we strive to be brave and watchful and responsible.

Being an adult is much like jogging, I’m learning. Both require the hard work of showing up and laughing at the effort needed some days. For me there is lots of self-talk, mixed with thanking God for breath, life, and his presence.

Crickets in dark sky and black tree branches announce nightfall. The front door squeaks as Daniel comes in, closing up for the night. Grabbing last minute second-suppers, he readies for bed.

I vaguely remember truth from yesterday and stand to riffle through stacked books on the table to find it. Then, there, I see it. Scrawled black gel pen copy words from God’s ancient book: “Teach us to number our days aright, that we may gain a heart of wisdom.” And I’m still learning what that means, but it helps me greet September, and school days, and the coming year with fresh eyes.

Join me? What are you learning and thinking about this month?

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  1. Bill (cycleguy) on September 10, 2018 at 10:55 am

    reminds me of the jingle: I don't want to grow up. I want to be a Toys R Us kid." Well, obviously that is not possible now in many ways. 🙂 But growing up and acting like an adult is challenging. LOL My girls are grown now; out on their own and all is well, so I guess it is time to grow up. one would think at almost 66 the time is ripe.

  2. Unknown on September 12, 2018 at 6:10 pm

    I appreciate the reflection on a day and a life well lived. One that honors God brings peace within. Rest is a gift, but the discipline of getting up and doing it day in and day out, year after year, is also one of His greatest gifts of perseverance.

  3. Dolly @Soulstops on September 14, 2018 at 3:20 am

    I could feel the nostalgia in your words as you also are doing the hard work of being disciplined 🙂 Lovely post.

  4. Wise Hearted on October 31, 2018 at 4:15 am

    Jennifer, at 71 we are choosing not to retire because we love what we do and still have some health left. And after reading your post I am adding one more reason, I don't want to grow up. I will admit there are some things I have let go, like sleeping in when I want to. I am a night person who all my life has still got up early but due to my health I am learning I need some extra sleep…it's a lovely to not feel pressured to get up early. Of course your season is different than mine and I can remember how keeping a tight schedule made our life run smoother. You sound like a great Mom and wife who loves the Lord. There will be other seasons ahead that will hold different disciplines. I have visited you site in a while or any for that matter since I also can let weeks go by without posting due to the season of my life and God says it's ok. We are on a ministry trip and I finally got my computer out and trying to catch up some. Ever since my heart surgery we try to not do meetings every day but every other day and have a rest day inbetween. I take naps now…wonderful things naps.

    You will never reget perseveraning. it reaps great rewards later. Blessings.

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