The Summer of 2013 is almost passed. My son will be going back to school in two days and I’ll be starting the fall semester as a hybrid (online/on-campus) student at Anabaptist Mennonite Seminary.

I of course had grand plans at the beginning of the summer. I was going mostly be stay-at-home dad with my son Ty, so I tried to pare back my work and stay closer to home. I had grand plans for all kinds of enrichment activities with him (and even planned to write a separate blog telling about the grand fatherhood adventure), but most of those plans did not come to pass. Instead it was a summer of survival. I did my best to keep Ty fed and happy. He played lots of computer games. We swam a lot (thankfully we have a neighborhood pool close by). I tried to stay sane.

And there were complications. All 3 of us (Mamma, Ty and me) all got crazy sick for weeks at a time, and Mamma had to work insanely long hours for a good stretch of the summer. — Despite all of that, Mamma did some great writing this summer on her blog, Our Last Homely House, which I hope you’ll check out.

My work didn’t cooperate either. I tried to pare things down but that was harder than I thought it would be. In fact I even had one insane week where I had to serve as legal counsel at THREE conscientious objector hearings in ONE WEEK! (I hope I never have to do that again).

Yet, it was a good summer. We did find times for sillyness and taking it easy. We had a few nice shabbot dinners (yes, I am a Mennonite. And yes our family does Jewish festivals. It’s a long story.). We had some great vacation trips to, one close to home (borrowing the in-laws RV, we stayed at a park 15 miles away for most of the 4th of July week) and then we had one awesome Amtrak adventure from Kansas to San Diego (of course we went to Legoland!) and back.

And most notable of all… this summer our son learned to read! It was like magic. At the beginning of the summer he could barely read at all, but by late summer he could read like crazy. Billboards (which of course led to lots of interesting conversations!), signs, comic books, even some easy-to-read chapter books. He is devouring them all. It is almost as if all of the learning he had last year at Keystone Adventure School and Farm suddenly gelled once he was in the more relaxed summer atmosphere (which makes me think the year-long school concept that OKC Public schools is going with is sheer idiocy. Maybe kids need summer vacation!)

So it was a really good summer. Here’s to a fabulous fall!