I sit on the sun-drenched chair, shielding my eyes with my hand. Water droplets run down the side of my glass, splashing onto the pavement. I breathe it all in. These are the moments I want to remember – the sun beating down, chasing us to the shady side of the yard, the hose spraying, pool splashing, music playing, summer fun. Laughter and squeals of joy fill the air. A plane buzzes over head. There’s not a cloud in the sky.
There’s a line in a book I once read for school that I’ll never forget.
“There are strange moments where the present already belongs to your past – your last day of work, for instance” – Anna Funder, Stasiland
It’s stuck with me over the last 10+ years because there’s just something about the simplicity of it. There’s no phrase more accurate for describing that feeling. It’s where I’ve been living the last two weeks, off and on. I feel suspended beyond the dimension of time, hanging somewhere, stalled, between present and past. It feels almost like we’ve been living inside of jello, everything moving in slow motion, clinging to the edges of summer pleading with it, to not slip away.
I close my eyes and take it all in. The sun is on its way down, but we have at least another hour of summertime bliss before we call it a night, trading cold hose water for warm bubble baths and wet swim clothes for snuggly pajamas. The music drifts across the yard as my son dances to the beat. Toys are scattered everywhere, and popsicle wrappers have long been abandoned, but there is plenty of time for cleaning later.
At the beckoning of my son, I stand up and stretch. He’s running towards his pool. I start off that direction and pick up some speed. I beat him there, grabbing him under the arms and tossing his feet into the air. We land with a splash, in the middle of his tiny inflatable pool, both of us drenched and with smiles on our faces.
I have learned a lot this summer, but most importantly, I’ve tried to be intentional about appreciating the otherwise mundane things in life. We’ve filled the summer with trips to the farmer’s market, library books, staying up late, or skipping naps in lieu of ice cream. Maybe it’s having a second kid that has forced me to let go just a little more, or perhaps it’s just that my son is a little more independent, but something is freeing about throwing caution to the wind during the summertime and letting fun happen on its own.
It’s more than the summer that I’m going to miss. It is, after all, one of my least favorite seasons. It’s the freedom that comes along with it – the ability to throw caution to the wind and embrace summer for all that it is. I’m not ready to let go of that yet. I’m not prepared to buckle down, shape up, and get back to a strict schedule. At least not yet. So for the remainder of this summer, you can find me with the kids. I’ll be camped out in the baby pool, music blaring, popsicle running down my chin, and having the time of our lives. And maybe, just maybe, as I let go of summer, I’ll find a way to bring a little of that bliss into the school year.
Looking for ways to let go this summer? Check out some of our local guides!