All at once, I am eager for summer to end and I never want it to end.

I love the pace of summer. I love the extra daylight. I love not having to worry about homework and quizzes and having to remember which day is library day and which day is PE day for which kid. I love humid nights and summer rainstorms and getting to sleep a little bit later.

But Ruby is in St. Louis with her dad, and I miss her. She has only spent six nights with me since May 25. I am bereft.

Georgia is in camp but is sorely lacking structure and is constantly begging to go places and do things and see people and buy stuff, none of which is ever something I’m really interested in.

Both of them have math packets and summer reading that needs to be done and hasn’t been.

I feel like summer is running out – July is almost over, lost in a rush of fireworks and barbecue sauce and hurricane stress – and I don’t know if I’m happy or sad.

I don’t want to start setting my alarm for 6 a.m. again. I don’t want to have to stress about science projects again. I don’t want to have to drive home in the dark once it starts getting dark at 5 p.m. again.

I want the predictable order of a school week. I want my kids doing more than watching YouTube and Netflix. Most of all, I want Ruby home again, here with me.

I’m really not ready. In addition to the undone summer work, I haven’t bought any new clothes for Ruby. My mother-in-law got some jumpers and skirts for Georgia, but I haven’t even gone through her uniforms to see what still fits.

I’m giving myself this week. This week, the last full week of July, I will try to embrace what’s left of summer. I will grill out and eat an ice cream cone while barefoot. I’ll stay up late and let Georgia stay up, too. I’ll take long walks (when it isn’t raining) with the dog and take advantage of every last morsel of twilight.

Next week, I’ll switch gears and start getting ready for school. Ruby returns on Aug. 1. School starts on Aug. 14. They’ll tackle their reading and math. I’ll sort through the outgrown clothes and take polos to be monogrammed. We’ll buy school supplies and get organized.

I’m not a child anymore, far from it. But I still get wistful when summer ends.

What’s on your to-do list to get the most out of the season? And what are you most looking forward to about the start of school?