Signs of summer linger all through the house.
Books read and re-read and eventually discarded lay scattered across the couch. A summer reading program list sits atop the dining room table, almost finished.
Flip flops hang over the edge of the shoe shelf in the mud room, begging for little feet.
One of my bathing suits hangs on my office door knob, next to my messy, Friday desk. You never know when the urge will strike you to strip down, suit up and run through the sprinkler with the boys, the dog biting at your heels, the water, the heavy air all around you.
Fans sit in main living areas even though the air conditioner clicks on and off throughout the day, even though the ceiling fans find themselves left in the on position, all day and all night. The box fan and the oscillating fan move the air that warms up as we live our daily life, as we make chicken noodle soup in August, as we chase each other around the house on stormy afternoons, as we cuddle closely on the couch and read all of the books.
The empty pitcher sits, ready to be filled each morning with summery goodness. Sometimes tea, sometimes lemonade, it awaits the last minute whim of a mom or the last minute pleas of a child.
I find other signs of summer as I take a quick walk through the house: a discarded friendship bracelet on a bedroom floor, grass clippings tracked in by wet barefeet, sweaty running shorts and tank draped over the open washing machine in the laundry room, Popsicle sticks atop the trash that needs taken out, sand from who knows where or why or when. I smile and burn these images into my mind as I know our next season looms all too soon.
Signs of the transition have already appeared, both inside an out. Bags of school supplies sit along the wall in the dining room, waiting to be sorted and placed into appropriate backpacks. The edges on the leaves of at least two trees in the neighborhood already wear glimmers of the next colors they will wear; a deep burgundy, a lighter reddish orange waiting to pop, waiting to go out in their annual blaze of glory.
I sit with my coffee on the porch and smell the fresh cut grass mixing with the mud of a slow rain, hear the insects chirping, see the birds flitting about as the dog chases them through the yard. I’m not ready to give up our freedom just yet, to give up the slower pace of our summer days. With just over a week before the school year slams into our reality, I feel a pressing need to make the coming one the Best Week Ever. I want to use up every drop of summer, every ounce of sunshine, every possibility and dream and sense of wonder.
But maybe… instead of forcing it, instead of making all the wonder happen, I’ll just buy another box of Popsicles. Maybe I’ll let the last week of our summer linger in the way it is supposed to linger, however that might look or feel or taste or be. Maybe I’ll allow myself to relax into the joy of one last week together with my boys before our lives change forever and again and always.