When You Don’t Want Summer to End: A Serenade for the Seasons

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Come mid-August, I’m ready for the return of structured days. I’m ready for yellow buses and quiet hours and watching my kids play sports under a canopy of burnt orange leaves. I’m ready for early mornings and rain-soaked skies and school books fanned out across the dining room table. Did I mention I’m ready for the quiet? I love the muted hum that enters with the advent of Autumn.

My kids begin school in two weeks, and for the first time in many years, I want to tug the curtain back on the new day dawning, exposing us to more sunshine and summer. I blinked and an invisible hand drew the drapes on this season. This year, I’m not only saying farewell to summer, I’m also saying goodbye to this season of parenting. This abundant season when all my children live under my roof, needing me, wanting my time, my approval, my attention.

My oldest enters her senior year of high school in two weeks, and she is ready. I am ready. All is as it should be, but knowing this doesn’t remove the taste of it from my mouth. It is, like most things in life, bittersweet. We are moving into a new season, and the bright blooms of summer will fade, the sun will play hide and seek, and the child of my heart will trim away the strings that tie her to me.

I want to lament the passage of time, but I would be wrong to wish for anything other than life as it is today. This season is so good–so very hard, but so very good. Next summer, my daughter will pack her life and all of my love in a few cardboard boxes and drive into the beginning of the rest of her life. I hope she’ll remember how I used to sing her to sleep. How my life was spent as a serenade to the changing seasons.

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  • This brings big tears to the edges of my eyes. I have a senior too! Although he has homeschooled through high school and is actually going to be graduating in a couple of months, and he won’t be heading off to college, this makes it all so real, and it all resonates with me so much! His eventual departure inches towards me and one minute (most) I’m so ready for “that kid” to get out of my house, and there will be no clothes strewn across the floor of the entire house, no dirty dishes in every room, no aunts feasting in his, all of the cabinets will stay closed, and his brother will live in peace; but the next minute I want to fall apart and I have a moment of panic, and I realize, that soon, my life will never be the same, and that perhaps my heart will ache even more in his absence. And what will I do if I need help on the computer, or if I have a flat tire, or I need a jar opened? Like you said, I hope he remembers me. I hope he does pack that love with him and understand it better than he ever has.
    Oh.. I just can’t even go there… Or can I?
    Thanks for sharing your wonderful perspective on this bittersweet season of our lives.

  • This is beautiful. Good seasons and hard seasons seem to often go hand in hand.

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