Remember the excitement of beginning a new school year? Having to impatiently wait a week or two to sport the new (or new to you) “school” clothes? Fresh school supplies (no more half-ripped notebook or broken crayons)? And the hunt for the perfect back pack?

The temperature may still be pretty darn warm, but most students in our area are headed back to school today. Granted, our 14-month-old Bug is still too young to go to school (although I wish there was a great program for one year olds that she could go to two mornings a week — you can see she’s ‘practicing!’). But even our family still feels a ‘shift’ in the air.

It’s the coming of ‘the schedule.’

I don’t know about your house, but our schedule has gotten pretty lax over the summer. We’re still pretty good about bedtime routine and such, but many mornings we’d wake up and think “what are we going to do today?” Even though I work full time, I have a flex work space and some flexibility with time. So we could opt to go to the library for an hour mid-morning, run around playground, or maybe meander though a museum. The great thing about city-life is that all of these activities are right at our fingertips. No long drives or need to plan full-day excursions (complete with car activities and a cooler of snacks).

Then there are all the summer trips. I don’t think we’ve been home but a handful of weekends — and those weekends were marathons of house-related projects and visiting ‘local’ friends. But the ‘here today, gone tomorrow’ made any kind of regular grocery shopping, meal planning or even lunch packing (yepp, we’re a lunch packing kinda family) almost impossible. We were pretty much vacationing in our own home all summer during the week!

And it was fabulous.

But the coming of the fall means the coming of routine. Classes and programs are starting up and there is an air of routine setting into our house. Mondays are going to be morning yoga class days. Tuesdays we’re thinking about an early evening intergenerational music class. Wednesday is Lila’s day with Grandma and Grandpa. Thursdays are still up in the air and Fridays are for play dates.

Honestly – – and maybe this is the geek in me coming out – – I’m looking forward to a schedule. I’ve been designing a big ‘family organization’ center in my head. It’s to keep us organized and start teaching Lila about the days of the week, weather, etc. Might be a project for next weekend. I’m actually salivating a bit over getting back to meal planning and making that five o’clock hour a little easier on all of us (the circular ‘what do you want to eat?’ discussion coupled with a ravenous toddler it not my idea of a great ‘wind down’ to the day).

And at the same time, I have this overwhelming desire to hang on to the permeability of summer life.

It’s crazy to think of all the things we are going to need to fit in to our days come September — not because we have to, but because we want to. The project manager in me has this incessant urge to plot out every day (seen those Mom agendas? If I gave into my true nature, mine would be the length of a novel). But who wants to live their life on paper? So I’m keeping my OCD in check and not over structuring. I’m thinking more along the lines of scaffold schedule. Best of summer with shape of fall.

Farewell lazy summer. Hello more-structured-but-still-flexible fall.