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Summer is almost over and I couldn't be happier--10 reasons why:

Erin Zammett Ruddy

The past few days in the northeast have been positively fall-like. Thanks to the lack of rain all summer, the leaves are already falling from the trees and the once sweltering temps have dipped into the 70s. It’s been gray and damp and windy--and I love it. I’ve realized that while all the funning and sunning we’ve been doing has been great, I’m kind of over it. I know I’ve mentioned before that I haven’t been a big fan of summer in recent years and I always long for fall, but this year was different. I wrote about just how much I love being a mom in the summer. And posted pictures that illustrate the amazing time we’ve been having.

And, full disclosure, I am gearing up for two more chaos-reigning weeks of summer, starting in a few hours when I pick up my college friend (and her two kids) from the airport for a visit, then my sister Meghan comes home, we go out east, we have a big family party, more house guests and then, finally, a Ruddy rager for Alex’s third birthday (more on that later). So, I’m still in full summer mode and enjoying every second of it. But I’m not gonna lie: I’m exhausted. And I’m more than excited about the impending change of seasons. I know my teacher friends will hate to hear this, but I’m ready for summer to be over. Here’s why:

1. Structure. I am a big fan. This summer has all been all about going with the flow, which very much goes against my nature (as a kid, for fun, I would organize my day planner). I have loved the past few months, but I’m also getting a little itchy for regular naptimes, bedtimes, mealtimes, and, yes, work. I have not been focusing on my career enough this summer and it’s starting to feel, well, wrong….

2. No more head-to-toe sunscreen application/fights.

3. I can stop worrying nonstop about Alex in and around pools. He is a fearless kid in the water and, with his floaty bathing suit on, will jump off any diving board and swim for hours. He can almost swim without it, but there is a big difference between almost and actually. Shiver.

4. Because of the absence of sunscreen and chlorine, Alex’s eczema is so much better in the fall, which makes my life easier (i.e., we can skip the nightly post-bath aquafor/cetaphil/prescription cream dousing).

5. Vince Guaraldi Trio. Nick and I have an unnatural obsession with the Charlie Brown Christmas album and usually start listening to it before Halloween. It’s not that we’re Christmas freaks (I am one of those people who simultaneously dreads and can't wait for the holidays) but we love the ambiance it creates in our house.

6. Beef Bourguignon. I’m tired of marinated skirt steak, grilled asparagus and polenta-goat cheese-tomato stacks (our summer staple). I’ve eaten so many raw oysters and shrimp and corn and grilled everything that I’m done. I’m ready for slow-cooking things in my kitchen. Particularly amazingly delicious things like BB, which Alex actually loves to help me cook (something to do with lighting the cognac on fire) and eat. Bonus! (I use Ina Garten’s recipe and improvise from there.)

7. Putting Nora in actual clothes instead of just a diaper. She has the most beautiful hand-knit white sweater that I’m dying for her to wear but it’s been too damn hot. And I love a baby in a winter hat—nothing is cuter. Although, now that I think about the layers and the cold, I may soon be longing for the days when a diaper sufficed….

8. No more ice cream man driving nonstop around my neighborhood blaring that now super annoying song and then, inexplicably, never making it to our street. I can’t tell you how many evenings Alex and I have sat on the front stoop waiting for that damn truck to round our corner and he never does. Fortunately Alex doesn’t freak out (probably because he’s knows I’ll give him some other treat to make up for the injustice).

9. Shorter days. Seriously. Trying to entertain children—and myself and Nick—all day long is no easy feat. There is something to be said for darkness at 5 p.m. Which leads to…

10. Earlier bed time (i.e., there aren’t as many BBQs, lightening bug adventures, post-dinner baseball tosses, s’mores roasts going on in the fall to keep us from the task at hand: getting children to sleep!)

Oh, and here are a few more of my favorite fall things: Pumpkin picking and hayrides with the kids, jeans and boots and sweaters, 30 Rock, Greys, Modern Family and all the other prime time TV shows I’ve been missing, drinking a cup of tea in the afternoon, fires in the fireplace, making soup, football (I put that on more for the vibe it creates than for the actual sport since it’s just not my favorite), the gorgeous foliage, my orange spice-scented candles, Nick’s birthday (any excuse to party!).

Is anyone with me on this or am I just hating on summer? I know I’ll probably miss the lazy days very soon but for now I’m going to put on a sweater and pour myself a cup of tea. What are you looking forward to this fall? (As a mom and as a regular old person….)