Farewell to Summer: Our Last Day at the Track

Yesterday we went over to the Saratoga Race Course for our last day there, and our last day of official summer. We wanted to pack as much in as we could, we had a nice lunch up at Turf Terrace and checked out the Family Fun Fest in the backyard as well. We got cotton candy and watermelon and lemonade, the kids shook hands with the jockeys and had Sam the Bugler play them a song, they danced to the band in front of the clubhouse and cheered on their favorite horses. We decided to head home before the rain came after race ten and made it into the car just as the first drops fell. As we headed home in the ensuing deluge I thought about how much fun we had this summer, at the track and at Saratoga Polo, at Moreau Lake and Peerless Pool, touring the local farms and having long casual lunches at the restaurants downtown. Finn loved playing tennis at Skidmore and Lev had a perfect summer ballet session at the Saratoga City Ballet school, we rode the carousel countless times and chased ducks in Congress Park, we rode horses and went to the zoo and found new parks and places to explore. And now it's time to embark on the Great Kindergarten Adventure of 2011. It means big changes for our family, I've been a stay at home mom since Finn was born, he's been my buddy every day, and with all the challenges that go along with it I've loved every minute of shaping his baby and toddler days and trying to open the world up for him in the most exciting yet safe way that I can. He's been in preschool since he was two, at first once a week, then twice a week, then this past year every day for a few hours, but nothing will prepare me for putting him on the school bus for the first time on Wednesday morning. To be honest with you, I'm sad about how much I'm going to miss him, about how fast this time has gone, about how much I wish I had listened to people when they told me it would. I'm scared that I won't be there for him as much as I have been, I'm scared of someone being mean to him, I'm scared of him needing a band aid and me not being there with my baby bag full of the ones he likes. But I know he's going to be okay, I'm happy that he's so excited, and I can't wait to sit at the table with him when he gets off the bus with a little afternoon snack and listen about his day. Plus on Wednesday I can share some big news with him of my own, I can tell him whether he's going to have a baby sister or a baby brother (he's rooting for a baby brother so hopefully he won't be disappointed!). And I'm sure it might be the pregnancy hormones but I'm already tearing up a little as I write this, thinking about him going off to school on Wednesday, I'm hoping I won't be the only one embarrassing myself with my Flip camera, camera phone and regular camera at the bus stop sobbing like a weirdo, but if I am, I'm okay with that too. But for now allow me to share a few photos from our last day of summer, as it rained on the way home yesterday I also thought about how lucky we are to live in such a fantastic place with all of this amazing stuff to do. I moved here because I felt like it would be the perfect place to raise kids, and I believe that more than ever now. I know you readers had an amazing summer too judging by the fabulous pictures you have been sending in for the photo contest, and I feel so lucky that you are sharing them with us and that we will share them with you guys soon too to vote, and I also feel lucky that we have this great Mamatoga community here! Thanks readers! [slideshow]