No, not Erin. I mean me.

Summer is drawing to a close. You wouldn’t know it to look outside where it remains a pleasantly sunny 80 degrees. The weather will be fine for a few more months. No, it’s the part that matters, the free time to enjoy life, that is ending for now.

Erin went back to school today. She has three inservice days this week. Freshmen enter next Tuesday, and the full student body returns on Wednesday. Erin’s at a point professionally that one can expect she’ll have a great year without knowing the particulars. Jonah, and her desire to spend time with him, throws an interesting twist into her time management. Assuming Erin’s able to deal with that (and I’m confident she can), I think she’ll have a fantastic year.

Jonah and I will be hanging out here at home. If he’s considerate enough to sleep a few hours during the day then I should be able to handle things with Anything I don’t get to during the day will simply happen after hours when Erin’s able to be parent #1. For those infrequent occasions when business takes me out of the house, we thankfully have the help and support of my parents who can watch after their grandson.

As an opening day test of my parenting skills, today went all right. No acts of child abuse committed, and only a few instances of parental abuse by the J-man. Seriously though, Jonah’s such a wonderful child for 90 percent of the time, it seems unreasonable for me to ever be upset about the 10 percent of the time when he spouts off.

He was whining more than the normal 10 percent today, but—and this is something I would remind every parent or prospective parent—it’s all a single stage in a process. Tomorrow Jonah will be older, and if the generations ahead of me are right, he’ll be much older before Erin and I know it. If Jonah is upset in the here and now, well, in another week/month/year he’ll have grown out of it. It’s a finite stage of development (which, dear reader, hasn’t stopped for any of us—don’t think you’re done just because you’re no longer an infant, a toddler, a child, etc. that you’ve stopped growing). There’s no point or reason to be upset over something that’s so transitory, a lesson from which I try to continually draw strength.

One thing I’ve noticed with Jonah is that when he cries inconsolably, he won’t look at anyone. He’ll literally turn his head so that he can cry without being able to see people. If that’s true of all infants, I think it’s telling. Could it be a truism that when we complain bitterly we’re really ignoring others and thinking only of ourselves? It would not surprise me much if that was a facet of human nature, though perhaps it’s a bit much to extrapolate from infant behavior.

The LDS missionaries returned today to work on the park side of the laurel bushes. Elders Jackson, Jensen, McMillan, and Preece cleared all the remaining weeds, grass and roots, tacked down weed block, then put down what little bark dust I had. It’s all coming together, and I dare say it will ultimately look terrific. The best part? The weed block and the bark dust should make the area much lower maintenance going forward. I’m very excited about that. Big thanks to the LDS guys for all their hard work.

It’s been a delightful run, this summer. While one hates to see it end, new adventures lie ahead. (Tune in next week to see if after a little more time with Jonah I’m still this optimistic.)