By TMoM Team Member Sydney D. Richardson, Ph. D.

Growing up, I remember the way my mother would mark the end of summer, and how she would usher in the next season. She would decorate.

The table place setting colors would change, along with curtains around the house. New dishes, glasses, placemats, and centerpieces would undergo a transformation. For winter (aka holidays), the colors were crimson red, cream, green, and brass gold. For spring, the colors changed to pastels. Summer brought light greens, bright yellows, and white. Fall ushered in burnt orange, forest green, and golden yellow. My mom would get excited to decorate and everyone in the house new that we would wake up the next day to a “like new” house. I have learned to change my decorations around the house as well, but I decided to mark the end of the summer and entry into Fall (and back to school) in a new way.

It started a few years ago when my kids wanted one last hoorah before heading back to school. Whether it is 90 degrees outside or 100 degrees, August and back-to-school shopping means fall in my house. It’s a time of change and for my family, it means a time to hunker down and work (i.e. homework and chores). The kids wanted to do something to mark the occasion of changing seasons and changing events, so I decided to throw them a party.

This wasn’t your regular party. It was meant for just the family and it started the weekend before school began. There was pizza, cupcakes, chips, juice, a family outing, and no chores for the kids. It was a time to just enjoy each other and have fun before the school year starts. What’s even more fun about it is that the kids decide almost everything. They pick where we go and what we eat (if it’s not pizza). They chose the outing and the parents had to participate. Last year, my sister and her family came and participated as well. It’s fun for everyone involved.

As each year goes by, I have become just as excited as the kids to have our annual party. For me, I am carrying on the tradition of marking a time of change. For my kids, they get to have a day that just for them.

How do you mark the end of summer and time of change?

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