Time to Say Goodbye to Summer

It’s Friday at twilight and Jimmy has just brought in the chairs and umbrella. It is our last full day at the beach and we intended to spend most of it outside, enjoying the gorgeous weather and soaking up every minute we could. We went in for lunch, decided to have a short quiet time and next thing I knew, the boys were napping. It happens rarely these days, so I let it continue; the result was that we forfeited the rest of our afternoon outside.

It’s OK. We’ve had a great time, spending hours each day outside, taking evening walks and relaxing. I can’t help but feel a bit melancholy. Some of it is due to the usual angst of leaving the beach and ending vacation, especially when we won’t be back for 10 months.

Most of it is due to my worry that we didn’t maximize our time here; you know, sucking the marrow out of our beach week and all that. We didn’t play in the water as much as we would have liked. We didn’t collect as many shells. We didn’t spend as many evenings chatting into the wee hours while the ocean breezes blew. The truth is, we were tired. It has been a busy summer of work projects, home projects and camp, and I think the three of us were relieved to sit (the adults) and dig in the sand (Daniel).

The end of this trip also symbolizes the end of summer. School will start in a little over a week and we will have a kindergartener. Our lives will begin to revolve around a calendar again; June and August will take on significance beyond “summer” and “hot” as “school” creeps in and takes over.

Time passes and all that.

Maybe I should focus on all the things we did do. Daniel had ice cream every night. He tried crab cake and lobster bisque (sadly rejecting both). Jimmy found a sandwich he loved (a bigger deal than it sounds for my sandwich-rejecting men). We added 6 new starfish and a clamshell to our starfish family. We ended each day sandy, salty and tired. It was a good week.

Now it’s time to pack up and go home. Wash the beach clothes and start organizing the back-to-school items. And maybe one day when the nights are crisp, I’ll put on a shirt I wore at the beach, inhale the scent of the beach and find myself back here.

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4 comments

  1. This is so lovely, even if it’s bittersweet. And the pictures are perfect: they capture end-of-summer exactly. I’m glad that you got some time away; sometimes it’s good to have vacations when our bodies rest in peaceful places, even if we’re not “sucking the marrow” out of our time away. The more busy we become, the more I cherish the moments of being together in silence. I hope that your beach shirt brings you back to this place for a little while longer as you transition back.

  2. What will you remember, the minutes you didn’t play in the water, or the hours that you did? Its so hard to get “the most” out of a day, especially with kids that seem bent on upsetting our best-laid plans time and again. I feel like that about summer, too. We didn’t hit all the spots on our summer list (when I made it in June it seemed we had ENDLESS time stretching ahead) but we did have some nice times, I’m trying to focusing on what we did instead of what we didn’t (though still trying to fit it in, we have 2 weeks!)

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