The Ending of Summer

“Summer afternoon—summer afternoon; to me those have always been the two most beautiful words in the English language.”
–Henry James

Oh Henry, you slay me.  I do love summer, and we have but a month of it left.  I’m not quite sure where the time all went…but my heart is a bit heavy over the fact that summer’s end is near.

Kate will be in high school this fall.  Maybe that’s part of the sorrow in it, I don’t know. On the surface, the whole high school thing doesn’t bother me.  But just below the surface, where the beating of my heart is hidden from view but clearly palpable, I guess I know that my time with her here is fading.  I have four short years left, and one day soon I will turn around and realize it is all over.  All those little things about her will be gone — confined to her bedroom or taken away with her completely; I will look around and there will be nothing but her photographs to remind me.

No more bottles of nail polish scattered around.  No more dirty old bag full of horse hair and muddy riding boots in the kitchen.  No more viola in the hallway…and no music behind her bedroom door.  No more love notes, or doodles or sketches to surprise me. I won’t be able to hear her laugh or watch her silly new dance moves or see her smile.  I won’t be able to look over at her and see her sitting there, long legs unfolded gracefully before her as she reads. And we won’t talk at bedtime anymore, the way we do now.

Most nights, I imagine, I will go to sleep wondering if her day was a good one, or if some creep has broken her precious heart. I will wonder if she’s eating healthy and if she got her juice in the morning (and I will worry for her roommate if not…). And I will wonder if she is tucked in each night…is she safe and is she happy and is she really doing alright? I will just have to trust that she is, and that if not, she will tell me.

I’m not sure how to do that. I’m not sure how a mother trusts and lets her child go…

I do think this is where the sorrow comes from. The ending of another summer is really just an inching closer to the day my heart breaks a little…the day it goes walking off on its own.

Kate 14 NST

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The Ending of Summer

2 thoughts on “The Ending of Summer

  1. Toni :0) says:

    I couldn’t agree more since my son is starting 11th grade. I’m at the end sooner than you and it makes my stomach tighten. I can tell you the HS years fly by and it chokes me up that this year is all about SAT’s and visiting colleges. Wasn’t he just a newborn? It’s tough when all I want is for time to slow done. Just a bit. Sigh….by the way, that photo of your daughter is gorgeous. Hang in there, we can each cry in our coffees together when they leave for college.

  2. Just now (finally!) reading this, and my eyes are full, as is my heart. Yes. This. My Ash has one more year of middle school and the time is so fleeting. And I often wonder what it will be like when my heart is walking around a college campus where I won’t see it, or hear it, or protect it, or share it every day. *sigh* This was really such a lovely post.

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