It’s seems important to have markers—points along the continuum to clearly state something has ended and something has begun. And even though most people seem drawn towards delineations on some level, there’s something about having kids that really pushes the demand for recording the beginnings and the ends.

It starts with birth and quickly becomes first foods, words, and steps. Just as you record one marker another has already passed, and pretty soon you just can’t keep up. But today was a clear marker that’s pretty easy to name but hard to consolidate into a concise description that captures everything that was experienced.

School has begun. Again.

Summer is over. The heat and long days of sunlight are still with us, but hours of free, unstructured time have passed. The birthday at the lake and the summer musical are over. The camping trip at the coast in the redwoods, near the waterfall and river, is now a collection of photos, videos, and memories. Hours of playing Minecraft with sisters, creating worlds and intricate systems, has been pushed aside for homework before ballet practice. Fridays off are now Fridays on.

Summer is over and school has begun.

New teachers, old friends, new friends, familiar patterns. Soon the days will start to be cooler and the sun will set sooner. There will be new markers to put in place, both predictable and unexpected. And probably many more that will simply pass, hardly noticed, until I look back and try to piece it all together.