As September looms, I think about this summer and all that it’s held for me. My little boy turned six, and had his first-ever birthday party with friends. I attended BlogU, BlogHer and two writing retreats. Our family took a trip to Dollywood to celebrate Tucker’s birthday, and each week, went to the waterpark, a sunny field to play, or to a movie. One week, I even gave into my son’s request for a mohawk.
As September looms, I think about this summer and realize that this, and every summer, we say goodbye to an us that we’ll never be again.
While the smell of Fall and school supplies feels like a crisp start each year, and reminds me of my childhood and of growing up in an tethered-to-the-wall phone era before smartphones were imagined, the end of summer also makes me sad. I don’t like goodbyes, and don’t feel ready to say goodbye to this summer.
I’ve seen Facebook statuses about how annoyed some people get when parents feel tearful at the approach of preschool, kindergarten, high school, and college. I see those statuses and wonder why people are annoyed by that. Isn’t each joyful moment that we’ll never get back also full of sadness and nostalgia? I’ve written before about how I want to remember the moments. I’ll probably write again about wanting to hold them to the light so that they burn forever-images on my memory.
I already miss this summer. I just booked a trip for us to visit Florida’s Legoland and the beach for October because I miss this summer. I miss all of the summers. Each marks a moment in time that will be repeated forever by mothers and people everywhere, but each also marks a moment gone.
Never again will I live the moment when I freak out about abandoned nap-times. I’ll never wake up each morning wondering whether today will be the day that my son says “Mommy” for the first time. I’ll never buy baby shoes for my growing little boy again. We’ll never again get through his first day of preschool together, but separately. Him, in class. Me, in the parking lot unable to leave for the tears and the worry.
I no longer wonder whether my son will ever speak, and learn to not lash out. I wish then-me knew what I know today. I wish I’d known that there will be times to come when I will breathe deeply against the endless stream of “WHY?” and questions like “Where is a bird’s butt crack?” and “Why would fish die in soap?” Of course, I’m jumping for joy that my little boy now asks these things — that he even thinks of them.
Sometimes, like now, as summer ends, I also remember the three-year-ago-beauty found in days spent on the front porch even though those were ones that I prepared for preschool by writing a list of Tucker’s words, trying to make sure that they knew, when I wasn’t there to interpret, that “AH” means water and “HAH” means helicopter.
Tonight, I lie in his bed, singing the same songs that I’ve sung since his birth. His breathing deepens, and I squeeze his skinny arm. My thoughts drift to summers past and summers future and I know that one day, somebody other than I may run her hands along my son’s arm, admiring muscle and shapes that do not yet exist.
As September looms, I think about this summer and I feel sad that it’s gone. That all past summers are. And yet, I also feel happy, (mostly) relaxed, and know that every summer will have milestones, kisses from the sun, and memories that I mourn even as they just occurred.
As September looms, I think about this summer and realize that this, and every summer, each of us says goodbye to an us that we’ll never be again. We also shyly look up at the next chapter, blush a little, look to the future summers and introduce ourselves, knowing that we have lived. That we live a little bit more, every day, whether they’re forgotten or important.
This has been a Finish the Sentence Friday post, where writers and bloggers gather together to share their versions of a completed sentence. This week’s prompt was “”What I’ll miss about summer…”
Me – Kristi Rieger Campbell (findingninee.com),
Lisa Moskowitz Sadikman (flingome.com) – this week’s sentence thinker-upper, and
Allison McGrath Smith (thelatchkeymom.com/)