Bonus Summer

I feel like people forget that the actual season of summer extends into September (the first day of fall is September 23rd this year), and I am here to stand in defense of the ninth month.  What’s not to love about it?  September days are some of our hottest all year long.  But the nights are starting to cool, with hints of the coming crispness of fall in the air.  It’s just about the best time of year for riding with the kids in the evenings.  As for ranch work, bull gather — always one of my favorite seasons for working with the cowboys — is just kicking into full swing.  Here at the feedlot, we’re in that golden lull between the second and third cuttings of alfalfa and a few big-picture projects are being whittled upon.

Here at the Blake house we drink in Bonus Summer purposefully.  Beau and I are in no hurry to dive into the mad rush that fall always is on this corporate ranch.  Soon enough the alarm will ring daily long before daylight, Daddy will be gone every day preg-checking cows, and the pens will be full of bawling, needy, fresh-weaned calves.

Beau and I are also in no hurry to dive into the mad rush that back-to-school and sports seem to bring upon most of our friends and family.  When we made the decision to homeschool again this year, Bonus Summer admittedly factored in among the benefits.

Yes, we are at home for school again this year.  Not because we believe our local public school is sub-par.  Not because we’re committing to anything more than one year at a time.  And certainly not because homeschooling is easy for us.

Just simply because we can’t yet imagine putting our kids on a bus and sending them away every day.

Ideally we are purposefully walking with them, taking full responsibility for the little humans we chose to bring into the world, cherishing every fleeting year we have them, teaching them on the move to read and to love to learn.

Realistically there are days when Teacher is cranky and Principle is gone from dusk ’til dark doing grown-up work in weather that’s not suitable for little helpers.

It’s not perfect.  But our intuitions tell us to stay put, to tackle another year of homeschooling our tiny people.

Both literally and figuratively, we Blakes will continue clinging to Bonus Summer as long as we can.



© Tami Blake

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