I suspect the typical activities of the month have changed in the last hundred years. Or maybe they've only changed for me, and only in the past 10.

Regardless, for parents and teachers, the beginning of June brings the end of the school year and a landslide of last minute school functions, cleaning-outs, and moving-ons. As always, my writing is getting pushed to the back, to make time for parades and picnics and parties. This year, my daughter's teacher is retiring, so on top of the standard fare, I decided to make her this:

Shawl

Which is this post has taken so much longer than usual. Hand-knitted, color-grown cotton. The pattern is dunes from knitty.com, and the yarn came off a one pound spool of this stuff that I ordered five years ago.

It's beautiful yarn, though it's a little rough until you boil the wax off. I'm tempted to try their chenille, but have myself on a yarn-and-fabric buying budget. I need to get rid of two that I have before I can buy anything that doesn't have a specific purpose. I dream someday of being able to avoid at least part of the annual springtime purge of unused things that will never become anything.

Because as soon as school gets out, that's how my days will be spent. I'll dig through my own closet, and through my daughter's, and we'll both pull out the clothes that don't fit, the pants that have more hole than knee, the shirts we haven't looked at in months. We'll put them aside and count what's left and figure out how much we need to replace it. We'll do the same with her toys and books. It turns into a week or more of nostalgia, trying to get through the work without suffocating the joy and energy that need to come out with the sun and warmth of summer.

There will be camps and play dates. Writing will still happen during those times when she's busy with other things. And editing my last book, and possibly even outlining and planning for my next book. But it slows down in favor of the family things that I am so very grateful I can choose to put first.

And despite the complaining – about the lack of time, about the heat, about the number of things to do – I need to remember that will be the over-arching emotion. Gratitude for what I have and what I have to look forward to.

Bear with me while I'm learning how to savor it.