I guess that last Annie Dillard quote had a bit of a melodramatic air to it. What I'm trying very hard to do now that I am done with grad school and can stay a little bit more on top of things (if not "get ahead" as my mother is always begging me to do) is make sure this last month of the school year doesn't fly by. I don't feel there's a risk of the summer flying by. I'm incredibly lucky to have flexible freelance work and lots of time where all I have to do it take care of the kids. Taking care of the kids is harder than any other job, of course, but more gratifying and soul-fulfilling and rewarding and meaningful (right?!?). I'm endlessly grateful for long stretches in the summer where I take the kids to the lake and forget sunscreen and read library books under the back porch on rainy days and forget bug spray and even take crazily exciting trips like California last year and Alaska this year. During those breaks, when we're not on a schedule, when we can bring our journals on nature hikes and have bbq dinners with cousins and aunts and uncles and grandparents, time does slow down. I don't have to force it to. Yet for these last weeks of the school year, with fundraisers and recitals and pot-luck dinners and neighborhood get-togethers and pajama day and the day I have to bring pizza in to Petra's school and snacks into Wally's school and the day my niece is graduating and there's always a whole slew of June birthdays and bbqs...I feel I have to stay on top of things to make sure we don't get into frantic, where-did-that-mont-just-go? territory. I'm compiling a list of strategies I'll post soon. I'll be curious to hear your ideas, too.