What You Shouldn’t Miss This Summer

Back to School sales are in full gear.  And I think back on our summer — these exhausting memory-filled three months — and I wonder if I did enough of this one thing …

***

So my daughter, this four-year-old going on fifteen, loves to be silly.  She likes to be the life of the party, much to our chagrin.

This is endearing in small doses.

I think, however, we’ve all seen one too many silly antics this summer — in airport security lines, bathroom stalls, bus rides, train depots, and pin-drop quiet elevators.

So we take a lot of deep breaths and pray for patience.

Because this girl, bounding with never-ending energy, takes her sweet ol’ time too … wherever she goes, hardly feeling the need to walk in a straight line, EVER.

{Sometimes I question the holy humor of pairing this firecracker with a chronically fatigued mommy … anyway.}

But all I can say is, thank God for her teenage cousin who has the patience of Job, who so patiently and willingly entertains these antics.

SO … with summer days coming to an end, the kids and I spend the afternoon at my sister’s house for one last hurrah.  No big plans.  We don’t want to spend a dime.   The day is mellow, lazy and warm — a welcomed change from the whirlwind of swimming classes, summer camps and travels galore.

Just as we’re about to leave my sister’s house, my daughter discovers a patch of grass on the front lawn.

Yeah, just a little ordinary patch of grass.

But she notices something different.  She lays down on this patch and begins to SINK IN, as if she’s in a comfy, papasan chair.   She stretches her arms straight out.  “Ahh, this is so relaxing.”

Actually, her words are,  “Oh yeah.  This is so relaxing.  Boo yah.”  Boo yah has become her favorite word these days … but anyhow.

She immediately waves her teenage cousin over to join her. “Come on, join me!”

grass hole2So this wise fifteen-year-old decides the grass is a bit too prickly for her liking — but always a good sport, she closes her eyes to “relax” with her little fan.

grass hole1

And this busy body of a girl stays still for quite a while — convincingly so.  Good golly, is she ACTUALLY relaxing?  The late afternoon summer breeze blows gently around us.  The sun lowers.  My sister and I chat about nothing in particular.  My car keys still dangling from my fingertips.

“Hmm.  We probably should get going,” I say, thinking of the traffic on the freeway.

But this girl, she lays there … and lays there.

And ever so slightly, the grass sags deeper … and deeper.

grasshole4

And the laughing begins —  between two cousins, two unlikely friends.

And now my girl is all smiles, all giggles, and all pleased with herself for doing what she does so well … happily wasting mommy’s precious time.  Oh, isn’t she SO proud?

grasshole5

Funny what an inappreciable sagging patch of grass can do.  Funny how some tiny souls test your patience and refresh your perspective all at once in a mixed epiphany of sorts.

Summers end as quickly as they start.  The day to day feels so exhaustingly long, but the years so fleeting.  Memories fly by quicker than you can blink.  And before we know it, giggly four-year-olds and patient fifteen-year-olds will flourish and fly off soon too … out on their own, too big to stay in our carefully crafted summer schedules.

But hopefully never too big for relaxing in grass patches.

Because there will never be a summer breeze quite like the one that blows today. 

Or a time, just like this, to laugh like no one is looking. 

And just be SO darn proud of it, too.

I add that to my bucket list.

And we stall for a few more minutes …

There is happiness, relief and a bit of sadness as the summer days dwindle down …

The kids and I finally climb in the car, and we drive off towards the surprisingly wide open freeway, the lowering sun lingering with hope against the western sky.

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