For the past few weeks, I’ve been ready to hang up the bathing suits and break out the long sleeved shirts. I’ve refereed more sibling fights than I care to remember and with every eye roll and calming breath, I’ve uttered, “the summer is almost over…I can’t wait for the fall.”
That is, until today.
I don’t know about everyone else, but this happens to me four times a year. Perhaps it’s because we’re New Englanders and the change of the season always sparks a little bit of excitement, but by the end of August I’ve got a hankering for the fall.
School starting and a return to normal schedules notwithstanding, I adore fall here in Dedham. The colors and smells make me so happy that I made sure to stock up on my Autumn scented candles last week (I’m quite sure that Andy will be less than thrilled at the smell of the Harvest Bounty wafting throughout the house).
I love the warm sun in the 60-degree weather, the cool mornings, and by this time each year I’m happy that the sun is setting earlier in the evening.
For some reason though, these past few days have had me wanting to squeeze every last minute out of Summer 2012 that I could.
Last night, we ate dinner out on our screened-in porch and lit the candles on the chandelier as the sun went down. I asked the kids what their favorite parts of the summer were and as we went through the list, I realized what a great season it was and the memories that I’ll take with me.
Ben and Andy played baseball…a LOT of it. The Dedham 11s won their 3rd consecutive District title in dramatic fashion at the tournament that took place right here in town, and the Dedham Youth Baseball Extended Family worked together to pull the whole thing off.
We spent another week on the Cape where not only did the kids log a ton of cousin time, but they learned to ride the waves on boogie boards in Truro (pre-sharks…phew). And trips to the Shumway lake house in New Hampshire boasted tubing expeditions and hugely successful fishing trips (though I'm pretty sure the striped bass would disagree).
Our neighborhood started a great tradition called “Fridays out Front” where each week a front yard/front porch party was hosted by a different family. This gave us the best excuse ever to enjoy the weather, the flowers and our friends in the ‘hood. We welcomed a new child to our street, Baby Finn; not only is he as cute as a button, but his arrival was a reminder that miracles do exist and life keeps moving forward.
The kids rode bikes with friends. We played card games and laughed. We planted flowers, had sleepovers, and stayed up late. It was a blast.
As we were walking home tonight after a neighborhood “Last Night of Summer Party” with s’mores and a campfire, I realized that for as much as I’ve been groaning that I couldn’t wait for the fall I was sad to see the summer end. Apologies for the schmaltz-fest, but…sniff sniff…pack those fun summer memories away. Time to move on.
Light a Macintosh Apple candle, organize the backpacks and wash the back to school clothes. For a New Englander, we embrace the new season.
But all the same, we let the kids stay up late. One last time.