So Long Summer, Hello Whatever-Comes-Next

There shall be eternal summer in the grateful heart. ~Celia Thaxter

 It seems like just yesterday we were kicking off Memorial Day weekend with the traditional burgers-and-dogs barbeque, watching our pale-faced kids enjoy the warmth of the sun and the extra day light hours.  Last night we were doing the same, except we were toasting to the end of Summer 2011 in our fleeces, watching our sun-kissed children roam around in our neighbor’s backyard!  As with the end to every summer, I’m left scratching my head wondering where the time went.  Last night, my kids were nostalgic too.  The transition from the lazy hazy days of summer to the ever-demanding frenetic life in the concrete jungle is obviously weighing on them.  And that’s where I realized I needed to focus my attention.

“I’m not going to be able to run around in the backyard by myself anymore, or go for bike rides on quiet streets,” my son cried last evening as we pulled out of the driveway of the beach house in our car so tightly packed I joked we needed Aunt Edna on the roof in her rocking chair (a reference to the movie Vacation for those of you scratching your heads).  He was hysterical, almost inconsolable.  And then, he was finally able to emote what we were all obviously feeling and not saying, “I’m so sad summer is over.”

Ugh, I didn’t know what to say.  Up until now I’ve selfishly been able to rely on my 6-year old to roll with the punches.  In fact, he’s been the one that usually keeps me grounded as traditionally, I suck at transitions. Help!  What would Mom do?  Mom would always have me focus my attention on the positives.  Sounds easy, right? Well, it’s not when your kid is rattling off all the reasons why he’s sad and it makes total sense: no more swimming every day at camp and after camp, no more late movie nights during the week, no more days of no homework, no more running around in the grass with no shoes on, etc…   In his fit of hysteria, he was actually being sensible.

So, I did what Mom would do every summer when I was the kid who was crying my eyes out not wanting it to end.  I attempted to calm him down so that we could talk about all of his accomplishments during the summer: from learning to dive in the deep end to starting his bike rides without any push off from his parents, to making new friends at camp and dealing without his sister for 4 weeks, to really reading  (and liking it), to memorizing every model car displayed in the Dupont Registry’s 2011 Magazine, to helping me cook most of the JudytheFoodie meals. In retrospect, he realized that he had an awesome summer that should be celebrated.  When he started adding to his laundry list of accomplishments (and people, it doesn’t have to be anything earth shattering, it could be something as simple as remembering to brush teeth every night—which he didn’t accomplish) I sensed his new-found confidence. That confidence will put him in a comfortable position as he sets out to conquer first grade.  Once he was able to shift this focus, his tears turned to smiles.

And so, this morning, as I woke up in our muggy NYC apartment, I was paralyzed with sadness.  I hesitantly took inspection of the many pieces of luggage that needed to be unpacked and found my son staring at me from my doorway.  He was looking for his new school backpack, claiming he needed to get it ready for school (by the way, there’s nothing required to prepare it).

I smiled and realized I needed to follow in my 6-year old’s footsteps. I started focusing on what’s to come, instead of marinating in what’s already passed.

last beach shot





Bye Bye summer

Packed up and ready to go...





  1. Great post, and sounds like you had a wonderful summer. My kids were ready to go back to school (last week), but we’re still enjoying summer weather, pool/beach time, and when not playing sports, simply running around the neighborhood with friends. Enjoy the time to come 🙂

    • EA-The Spicy RD » thanks so much. we’re eagerly anticipating school here….once we get into our routines, I’m sure everything will be ok.

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