Savoring Summer

This week, as the kids received long-awaited classroom assignments and bus drivers practiced their routes through our neighborhood, all I could think was: Hold on a minute, wasn’t summer just getting started? Like the cliffhanger episodes of your favorite Netflix series, the big highlights of our summer all seemed to arrive in its final stretch, and they left me wishing that this time didn’t have to end.

Here are just a few things that happened this summer…

After some trial and error, we found our favorite local pool – one that’s within five minutes of the best ice cream shop (sweet!), and one where everyone in our family actually meets the height requirement for the twisty slide.

We became regulars at the library, with both girls discovering favorite new book collections. My nine-year-old loves the “I Survived” historical fiction series, while my seven-year-old is obsessed with the “Rainbow Magic” fairy books.

My oldest daughter finally caught a frog – a goal she’s been determined to achieve since last summer. The adorably slimy little guy was hanging out in one of the drainage tunnels that dot our neighborhood. He was remarkably tame (either that or terrified), and we all got to pet him before returning him to his humble home.

On the same day, we hit another milestone when my youngest daughter began to ride her bike successfully without training wheels. She’s thrilled to be catching up to her sister.

Even my fall temperature-loving self made peace with the heat and humidity; this summer I started to enjoy early morning runs, rather than dreading them. I’ve learned to appreciate the tranquility of warm summer evenings, too, often ambling out into the backyard to take in a few quiet moments after dinner. As a comforting breeze rustles the trees, I’m glad to see that the flowers we planted in June are flourishing at last, having survived the curiosity of deer and rabbits. The cicadas are belting out an unabashed symphony, and sometimes a goldfinch or cardinal flutters by to grab a late night snack at our feeder.

It seems unfair that just as summer is at its loveliest, it’s about to slip away.

But isn’t that how it always goes? Greek philosopher Heraclitus once said that change is the only constant.

Just as you get comfortable with something, it changes.

Just as you finally settle in and start enjoying that vacation, it’s time to pack up and go home.

Just as you think you’ve reached a good spot with your kids, they go and change it up on you. With every moment, they’re evolving, getting older, sassier, more insightful, and infinitely better at pushing your buttons.

Soon the air will turn cooler, the colorful flowers on the porch will disappear as pumpkins take their place, and schedules will fill with after-school activities and parent-teacher conferences. Summer will be, once again, a glorious memory. But for the next few days, I think I’ll relish this season just a little longer.

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