Goodbye to Summer
In many ways it seems as though it was just May, and we were counting down the moments until your care-free days. We were burnt out on school, schedules, and alarm clocks. We longed for for your flexibility, spontaneity, and childhood delight. We were full of plans for memorable vacations, swimming, and splash pads.
We intended to be loosely scheduled (to keep ourselves sane), and do daily studious quiet times avoid the “summer slide” the teachers all warn us about. We were ready for anything playful and FUN. We were going to cook outside and have friends over for sprinkler dates and popsicles. We might have even planned on adventures into the city to enjoy Barton Springs or Zach Theatre, or to see the Zilker Hillside musical or Blues on the Green. We didn’t know all that you would bring; we just knew we were ready.
And you never disappoint, sweet friend. While we may not have done all of the things on our summertime bucket list (and while every day certainly wasn’t magical), we know this is the stuff childhood is made of. You make memories right before our eyes. We watched our children learn to swim and smiled as watermelon dripped down their chins. We delighted in the squeals of the neighborhood kids splashing down the slip ’n slide and the ooos and awws of the fireworks show surrounded by neighbors on the 4th. Your joy is so palpable, and we appreciate how you remind us to slow down and soak it all in.
As we say goodbye to summer, we relish in these precious moments because some of our most cherished memories of our childhood have the essence of summer engrained in our nostalgia.
You can be tricky though, dear summer. Some of your days can feel hot, and long, and NEVER ENDING. We do grow weary of packing up the towels, goggles, wet bags, changes of clothes, snacks that are not to be confused with lunch, water (gallons and gallons of water), floats, strollers, diapers, swim diapers, rash guards, hats, and definitely can’t forget the sunscreen (gallons and gallons of sunscreen)… not to mention loading and unloading all of this plus the children in and out of the blazing hot car. And if we have to listen to one more Moana sing-a-long or break up another sibling argument we may lose our dang minds. We may start to wonder how our children’s precious, precious teachers do this ALL YEAR, and may even long for some schedule and routine… just maybe.
We may have battled mom guilt over not being able to do as much as we would have liked. We had work schedules to deal with, or we totally forgot about that studious quiet time we were committed to back in May. We watched as our friends went on fabulous vacations while we were on a tight budget, and felt the sting of worry that we aren’t enough for our kids. However, when we were able to squeeze in that after work swim or snuggle up to read a book with our kiddos during an afternoon thunderstorm, we reminded ourselves that these are the moments they will remember. They do not even know how we feel like it should have been. This is what it was, and it was enough. We will not let guilt overshadow the joy of you, sweet summer.
And now all of a sudden it’s August and we are on the brink of saying goodbye to summer. There may not be another month that is quite as bittersweet. While we reminisce about the warm days gone by, and look forward to our schedules and routines again — we also try to continue to enjoy these last fleeting moments of you. Living presently is always a challenge. We squeeze in one more weekend trip amongst buying fresh pencils and backpacks. We plan for back to school nights and school lunches while soaking in those last few swims or sprinkler dates. We anticipate the first day of school, while recognizing that childhood isn’t forever, and each year you’re over is another milestone gone by- and my, how our children have grown. We wistfully remind ourselves not to wish this time away too fast.
So, goodbye to summer. Sweet summer. The moments and memories you have given us are priceless. We will remember these days always, and we are forever grateful for the journeys you have taken us on.
Until next year — when we will be anxiously awaiting your return.