I was in denial the week after July 4th when I started seeing back to school displays going up at my local Target, but now those are slowly making way for Halloween displays. Which means the summer is pretty much over and I don't have much to show for it.
No tan lines to take forever to fade away like in years past. No memories from summer barbecues to reminisce about with the friends who were there with me (and who witnessed the same crazy). No summer concerts down on the Mall. No drive-in movies or even a full outdoor movie that we didn't have to leave halfway through because of rain. No backyard barbecues or pool time.
But I did manage to lose a little weight in spite of my broken promise to participate in a workout group. I did get a glimpse of what my day could be like for a few hours without a toddler running around. I did get to see a movie at the theater, including the opening previews. I sat and watched my daughter run after fireflies (and inadvertently kill a few because she squeezed them too hard).
This summer is almost a wrap. We will have one quick beach weekend soon so that I can pretend to get a tan. I might blow up that discount pool that I got from Target so that the kid and I can have a few pool days in the backyard. I might get her cousin so that we can take a drive out to see the wild horses, and then maybe we might spend the evening at one of those dinky amusement park/carnivals. And I might get the chance to go someplace fancy so that I can finally wear one of those cute sundresses that I have been saving for a special occasion.
September comes so fast and then it serves as a reminder that December is also coming. Because alongside those garish Halloween displays of stuff nobody needs, there is a small space saved for Christmas ornaments and lights, which will slowly expand to encompass an entire aisle by the end of the month. And once the entire aisle is devoted to Christmas stuff, it feels like the year continues to speed up and then September becomes that transition month when we remember doing a few remaining summer activities. The month when we lament what we didn't do in July and August.
I know that there are all of these arguments out there for why we need to have our children in school all year and other arguments that summer is kind of a waste considering that most of us don't live on farms, but I miss summer. I miss the idea of slowing down to take in a few activities that don't have a time limit. I miss the pleasure of doing things that can only be done during this time of year, like watching my daughter chase fireflies or run around outside barefoot. Like hanging out with my niece all day with no real idea of what we might do, and then just going for it.
For instance, I am seriously thinking that the girls need to have a lemonade stand next summer for no reason in particular. We can spend all day working on their storefront and then set up the next day right in my front yard. And then sell our homemade concoction for some ridiculously stupid amount of money with no charitable intentions, just for the fun of it. Do kids do that anymore?
Does anybody do anything without any purpose or end game?
I know I'm on a weird nostalgic bend of late, and it could be that I am feeling my age or looking it or just accepting it. I have a toddler who is still very much my baby, but also getting more independent each day. Next year, she should finally be potty-trained(!) and it will be our last carefree summer because she'll be three and that's when we're supposed to jump on the hamster wheel. And the fact I am hesitant to do that is putting me in a state. I am not looking to delay the inevitable, but then again maybe, I am. Because as soon as we have to go to Target in the middle of July with a back to school list of supplies, I suddenly become that Mom who realizes that she has no life.
But then again, I might actually get something done around here. And when September rolls around again, I can declare that this was the summer that I did something.
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