The Last Hurrah

Walker Park with Ruby

It’s the last Friday before the Labor Day weekend.  Which means the first day of school is just around the corner:  like Wednesday.  Eek!  I’m trying to get all of Zac’s miscellaneous documents in to the online high school.  So far, it’s been a bit challenging.  And trying to talk to someone in person on the phone, well, prepare to wait.  I got ironing done while I waited yesterday.  Not a total loss.

The imminence of the new academic year looms over me. I find myself alternately celebrating the summer and lamenting that we didn’t do more, experience more, as a family.  I am grateful Zac got his D.C. trip and some time away with a good friend on his family vacation, as well as seeing an old friend for one day in late July.  Ruby got to go to art camp and visit with her grandma in Portland.  We also went to Wild Waves way back at the beginning of summer.

For my part, I loved Wild Waves, too.  I also liked that it got pretty warm and the berries came on strong each month.  We bought some and picked some.  We sampled their sweet bounty.  We traveled, too, to Portland for our anniversary in June and to Wisconsin and Minnesota for Jonathon’s graduation in August.  We got to stay with family and friends and celebrate.  In July, I got some much-needed CDBG training.  I’m finally starting to understand what I’m doing on the shelter project!  Look out!

I always want more.  I guess I’m a greedy gal.  I want to make as many fun memories with the kids as possible.  That being said, Ruby and I went to Walker Park for the last time this summer.  Since it’s been raining hard the last 2 days, we avoided the soggy play structure.  We wandered the barnacle-encrusted shore.  We poked a dead sea star.  Ruby found a pretty oyster shell to bring home.  The air off the inlet blew cold.  Fall hovered, held back in the trees, the guardians of summer.  Soon enough they will give up and let fall with all its chilly changes move in.

“Ruby, what was your favorite part of this summer?” I wanted to know.  I hated to put it in the past tense already, but there it is.

Ruby thought for a bit.

“Right now”, she replied.  “With this shell.”  The oyster shell, I might add, that “looks like meat” on one side.  Yum!

I had to smile.  The beauty of that childlike spirit is that every moment is the best moment.  Your mom is your best friend.  Your brother is funny and your dad is strong.  And this moment, filled with sun and shadow and wind, transitioning to the next phase, is the best one yet.