How to remember September cover image with a photo of a field in September

Ah, September. It’s the month that marks the end of summer. It’s when school goes back into full swing. Kids go to college. Here in the northern hemisphere, the days become noticeably shorter. It’s a great time to remember Septembers past.

As a child, September was a time to look forward. I was usually excited to go back to school. Having a September birthday, I’d start making my lists as soon as the calendar changed. In fact, I was a little confused by Tom Jone’s crooning on the radio about trying to remember Septembers that were mellow.

Now I get those lyrics. September lends itself to retrospection. Trees start turning, or in the case of the cottonwood at the edge of my yard (notice I’m not admitting ownership), throwing down clumps of leaves. At the lake where my in-laws live, Labor Day weekend is marked by frenetic action followed by complete quiet. Families pull in their docks and boat covers and batten down the hatches for the coming Michigan winter. There’s a sense of transition, if not ending.

Rather than spending days fishing and tubing, kids will return to homework and bag lunches. Of course, as of 2001, September also brings to mind the day we lost our innocence. Here in Michigan, memories of that Tuesday cause us to view perfect blue-sky days with suspicion.

How to Remember September

As you and the weather change gears, it’s a perfect time to capture some memories of September and summers past. Maybe it’s time to take a cue from the old song “Try to Remember” and save these warm memories for a colder time or to share with loved ones.

Back to school memories

What do you remember about going back to school? Was there excitement or dread? Did you look forward to getting teacher assignments? Were there traditions associated with the first day of school, such as riding bikes to school? Was there an annual photo? Do you remember the first time you drove a car to school?

End of Summer Memories

“Remember September” often entails memories of August and summer drawing to a close. As summers ended, did your family have an annual vacation or outing? What activities did you miss the most as you went back to school?

Remember September on the Farm

Authors photo of a barn in September

Remember September on the farm? What was it like?

For those who grew up on a farm (like my mom), the change of seasons meant changes in routines. Returning to school was secondary. Was there a change of rhythm on the farm or the rural community of your youth?

Recapturing Youth or Innocence

Is there a feeling that you wish you could recapture as you remember Septembers of the past? Did you have an optimism or naivety that you would reclaim if you could? On the other hand, did September bring a dread that you’re glad you no longer have to face?

September as a Parent versus a Youth

If you’re a parent, you might want to reflect on what September means now versus then. Do you look at back-to-school time with relief or dismay? Are you relieved to get back to an organized schedule? Alternatively, do you find all the after-school activities? Do conflicting youth sports schedules deny your family an opportunity to dine together or do you love standing on the sidelines cheering them on? (Or both?)

Specific September Memories

Was there a wedding, birthday, or other September event that always comes back to mind as the calendar changes? How did you celebrate those in the past? How do you celebrate or remember those dates now.

Your Turn:

How do you remember September? I’d love to hear your ideas. Doesn’t the comment section below tempt you—just a little? Share your thoughts!

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