Sunday, July 27, 2008

Message to Summer: Please Slow Down

I looked at the calendar this evening and realized that it's almost August, and suddenly, I was very sad. Living in a place where winter hangs around for months and months on end, we yearn for and look forward to a couple of months of warmer weather and longer days each year, and when Summer finally comes, we cram so much into it that it seems to fly by like a brief, wonderful dream. We want to take every opportunity that we can to enjoy each and every moment of it.

We just had a picture perfect Summer weekend. We had a baby shower this weekend in Chicago, and after the shower, we lingered in Chicago to spend more time with friends that we don't get to see as often as we'd like to. We took our kids down to the beach and watched them splash till their hearts' content in the waves. I leaned back on my elbows in the sand and let the warm air wash over me as I watched Aaron and Grace play together in the water. The weather was so perfect it was like we were vacationing in some exotic locale rather than sitting less than two hours from our home. Then, two other moms and I enjoyed a leisurely meal outdoors last evening at a lovely Mexican restaurant while our husbands watched our girls. Today, Aaron and I strolled down a sunlit, flower-filled street to find a quaint little restaurant where we could enjoy a quiet brunch while Grace was off playing at a birthday party at a playground with some friends and their little girls. When we picked Grace up from the party, we indulged her a little bit by buying her an ice cream cone from an old fashioned ice cream truck that was parked outside the playground. We drove home to Milwaukee along Lake Shore Dr. in Chicago, and marveled at the number of sailboats on Lake Michigan and observed the many beach-goers enjoying their time in the sand.

When we arrived at home tonight, we checked our garden's progress and saw that our corn has grown almost as tall as Gracie is, and our beans will soon be ready to harvest. We opened up all of our windows and as I sit here typing this, I am listening to the sounds of the city as the fresh air dances slowly around the room, filling our noses with the earthly smells of Summer. Tonight, we will fall asleep with our bedroom porch door open, sleeping in the cool summer night air and we will wake up feeling refreshed tomorrow.

Soon, we will be pulling our swimsuits and shorts and t-shirts and summer dresses out of our closets to put them in storage and we will replace with sweatshirts and sweaters and coats. The days are already getting shorter--nightfall is coming earlier each night. Soon it will be time for football and changing leaves and warm apple cider, and the rapid descent into Winter will begin. Maybe if I close my eyes and wish all my heart, Summer will slow down some and we can enjoy it a bit longer this year. I'm not quite ready to bundle up yet.