Then followed that beautiful season…summer.
Filled was the air with a dreamy and magical light; and the landscape lay as if new created in all the freshness of childhood.
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
If I’m being honest, I was ready to say goodbye to summer August 1st as I hugged my girls goodbye and sent them into their new classrooms. But, particularly here in the south, the summer lingers well past the first day of school (and oftentimes up until Thanksgiving it seems).
Regardless of the weather, each year I’m happy to soak in a few final, long swims come Labor Day. We spent this weekend hanging with friends, lounging in the sun, eating summer junk food, and enjoying the season’s final frozen drinks. And, most of all, I applied the last of the sunscreen to my wiggling, complaining children (and all the moms said AMEN!).
This felt like a strange summer for the books, and truthfully we never really seemed settled in it — although I’m sure my kids won’t remember it that way. They’ll remember summer 2019 as one filled with campfires and laughter and birthday cakes and movie-night snuggles. Because this is the greatest gift of childhood – seeing all the good and being quick to forget the rest.
As Cricket clung to me in the water, I encouraged her to spend her last few minutes of summer swimming with her friends yesterday. It seemed obvious to me — this was the final day of the season, one last chance to splash around — but she just looked at me puzzled. I reminded her that summer was ending, that the pool was closing, and that it was time for fall to creep in. As panicked tears came to her eyes (she has always been sentimental and regretful of change), I hugged her and said, “Remember fall is our favorite? Pumpkins and chai tea and Halloween?”
And that was enough for her. Enough for her to enjoy the moment to its fullest, to go back to being mermaids and pirates and floating creatures in the sea. The promise of a good tomorrow from a trusted source gave her carefree freedom. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if that was enough for all of us?
So goodbye summer, I will miss your lack of alarms and your ice cream. (And hello fall, we have been waiting for you!)